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Ethnology of Tokelau Islands



Atafu, composed of 42 islets, lies in lat. 8° 33′ 30″ S. and long. 172° 30′ W. (fig. 4). It is the smallest atoll in the group, extending 3 miles north and south and 2.5 miles east and west, and having a land area of 550 acres. The highest land of Atafu is 15 feet above sea level. The present population is 380.

Atahu or Atahumea was the ancient name given the atoll by its earliest inhabitants. However, it is not possible, with present knowledge, to connect Atafu with Atahumea, which appears in the earliest Samoan legends (27).