Fonuatanu – Intro Final Tu’i Tonga Settlement – Fangalongonoa

Fonuatanu – Intro Final Tu’i Tonga Settlement – Fangalongonoa

The last settlement of the Tu’i Tonga and last capital of the Tongan Empire. The settlement was called Fangalongonoa and is located in Mu’a on the main island of Tongatapu.

Fonuatanu is one of the great examples of the advance knowledge and complexity of the Tu’i Tonga Empire. The man-made land extension of approximately 100 acres built hundreds of years ago is still inhabited to this day.

Tu’i Tonga Talaiha’apepe moved the settlement from Ha’aloto to Fangalongonoa (Mu’a) in 1100 AD. There were 28 Tu’i Tonga that lived in this settlement in Mu’a over 765 years. From Tu’i eTonga Talaiha’apepe #27 to Tu’i Tonga  Laufilitonga #54.

We are going to focus on how Fangalongonoa/Mu’a developed throughout these years. We will talk about the Tongan Empire was governed/run in a future article. Because the people who recorded our history did not understand the Tongan System and lead to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding that we must correct regarding the true nature and organization of the Tongan Empire.


Up to 1100 AD

Fonuatanu 1
Mainland Tonga on the right and ocean to the left with two small islands to the left.


  1.  Langi Tofaua two Tu’i Tonga were buried here TT #27 & #28. My Great Grandmother and all her children (except my Grandmother) are also buried here at Langi Tofaua.
  2. Taulanga Felemei
  3. Fonua Motu Island
  4. Mounu Island

 1100 – 1250 AD 7 Tu’i Tonga’s in this Period

Fonuatanu 2
Multiple mounds / earth pyramids built in Fangalongonoa, the last Tu’i Tonga Pyramid.


  1. Langi Tofaua
  2. Langi Leka – Langi of Tu’i Tonga Talakaifaiki III – this the Tu’i Tonga that had the political problems in Samoa. He declared the words “Malie To’a, Malie Tau” before he returned to Tonga. His last words became the Title of Malietoa the highest title in Samoa that has continued to this to this day.


1250 – 1400 6 Tu’i Tonga’s in this Period

Fonuatanu 3
Continual building activity to the Tu’i Tonga Settlement


  1. 2 Tu’i Tonga Assassinated during this time period. Kau’ulufonua III’s (Kau’ulufonuafekai) father (Tu’i Tonga Takalaua) and his grandfather (Tu’i Tonga Tapu’osi II) were both assassinated. Tu’i Tonga Kau’ulufonua III then created a new Kingly Line. This was the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua Kingly line named after his father.


1400  Home of Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua Line

Fonuatanu 4
Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua line created by Tu’i Tonga to oversee the day to day running of the affairs of the Tu’i Tonga Empire. The intial stages of Fonuatanu begin.



  1. Fonua Motu also known as the first “kauhala lalo”.
  2. The Ha’a Takalaua line was created to oversee the daily running of the Tongan Empire. It is important to note that the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua acted as a mouthpiece of the Tu’i Tonga in dealing with the menial tasks of running the Tongan Empire and was directly under the influence and control of the Tu’i Tonga.


1420 – 1520 4 Tu’i Tonga during this Period

Fonuatanu 5
Continual growth of the Tu’i Tonga Settlement and of Fonuatanu. The area that looks like roads are the areas in which deep excavations were made to extract the bedrock from the main island to be used as the base foundation of the landfill called Fonuatanu.


  1. Fonua Motu Ua: There were two bodies of land-fill that were recognized as though there were two Fonua Motu. Though initially there is only one Fonua Motu in the beginning.
  2. The “Fale Fa” or advisors of the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua were formed at this time modeled after the Fale Fa of the Tu’i Tonga.
  3. Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua’s mounds are called “Fale”. The Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua mounds (Fales) were built on Fonua Motu Ua. My grandmother, her father, and many of her ancestors were buried here in Fale Pulemalo, Fale Tuipapai, Fale Fakauo, and Fale Ha’akili these were also the names of the “Fale Fa” or advisors of the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua. These mounds like the “Langi” of the Tu’i Tonga were built with stone.

1520 – 1865 11 Tu’i Tonga during this Period.

Fonuatanu 6
Continual expanse of Fonuatanu and the Tu’i Ha’atakalua create the Tu’i Kanokupolu line to assist the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua in pverseeing the day to day running of the Tu’i Tonga Empire


  1. 1550 is when the Taulanga Felemei (Port of the Tu’i Tonga) was landfilled and the Langi Paepae ‘o Tele’a was constructed. So the Langi Paepae ‘o Tele’a was built on landfill that was once ocean water.
  2. Also in 1550, the Sixth Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua Mo’ungatonga created the Tu’i Kanokupolu Kingly Line. He created this line to share the responsibility of being the mouthpiece of the Tu’i Tonga and in taking care of the daily tasks of running the Tu’i Tonga Empire all under the influence of the Tu’i Tonga. Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua Mo’ungatonga placed his son Ngata as the first Tu’i Kanokupolu.
  3. 1600 is when the Fonuatanu was completed. The Fonuatanu is approximately 100
  4. 1799 the last Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua Mulikiha’amea died, my sixth great great grandfather on my grandmother’s father’s side.

Road Map of Mu’a

Fonuatanu 7
Final state of Fonuatanu



  1. The excavations where bedrock was removed from the main island of Tongatapu to build the foundation of the of “Fonuatanu”, the Langi’s, and the Ports throughout these settlements.

Mu’a Last Capital of the Tongan Empire

Fonuatanu 8
Arial shot of the current state of the final capital of the Tu’i Tonga and the current state of the Fonuatanu


  1. Today Mu’a is divided into 3 villages. First Lapaha Noble is Prince Kalanivalu Fotofili. Second Tatakamotonga Noble is Prince Tungi Tuku’aho. Third Talasiu Noble Tu’i Lakepa


Fonuatanu – Tu’i Tonga Empire – Fangalongonoa

4 thoughts on “Fonuatanu – Intro Final Tu’i Tonga Settlement – Fangalongonoa

  1. Tevita Toutai

    Thank you so much for sharing your information and research that you have done throughout the years. I am currently working on my Family Tree and I’ve become really fascinated with the history of our people. I am the grandson of Viliami Taunaholo Tauelangi of Pea and 3x great grandson of Tavatu’alau. Keep up the great work I am learning a lot.

    1. tualaufale

      Thank you for your support please share our articles on your social media so others can enjoy our articles as you have.

  2. Atelea Pusiaki

    Thank you very much Tevita Fale for this. Our family is very proud of you! You’ve done a great job sharing this information and important history.

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