Little is known about the origins of the inhabitants of Islas de Fuego, although ancestral stories have been calculated to have taken place several centuries before King Turbo the Conqueror first stepped foot in Oceana. Archaeological digs on the islands and carbon dating of some recovered artefacts suggest that there has been some human presence on the islands since at least the beginning of the 2nd Century CE.
For years Islas de Fuego were a colonial interest of Neustria, first colonized in 1564. The name we Oceanans use for the islands roots back to the same era, from the Neustrian “islands of fire”. Towards the end of the war with Neustria at the beginning of the 19th century, King Caseareo I took control of the islands, but was forced to sign a treaty with the King of Neustria which made Islas de Fuego an autonomous protectorate of Oceana for 200 years, in order to avoid a resurgence of military engagement. Under the treaty, the Kingdom of Oceana would provide security and some financial support to the islands, but would not be allowed to intervene in the governance of the islands. Forcibly revoking the treaty, though arguably less relevant in its 199th year than in the past two centuries, could potentially have some implications for Oceana’s relationship with Neustria, which could be looking to reclaim the islands when the treaty runs out this summer.
The islands are home to some exotic but endangered animals, such as the Pup’ja (Volcano Rabbit) and the Rak’na (Raka’tuli Fire Hawk).
The most recent census data from 2005 reported a permanent population of just 956 people, of which only 93 do not claim the islands as their ancestral home. The main port, Tuli’maa, is located on the main island of Ra’tuli, and is home to 586 permanent residents. A ferry service runs once a day between Tuli’maa and Panurgia in Panopea. There are also some 500-800 seasonal workers in Islas de Fuego, to supply the tourism industry. The smaller islands contain much smaller villages, with Kis’tuli having a population of just 21.
The capital city of Islas de Fuego, Tuli'maa, is located on Ra'tuli, the largest of the four islands.
The tallest of the four islands.
The newest of the four islands, geologically speaking.
The smallest of the four islands.
The islands are governed by a locally elected Council of Elders, a tradition of governance that has existed on the islands for some eight centuries. The current Council is comprised of 5 local leaders, one from each island (2 from the main island).
The 200-year treaty signed with Oceana in 1812, which made Islas de Fuego a protectorate of Oceana, is coming to a close on May 31, 2012. In preparation for this, the people of Oceana are undertaking a Referendum on April 10, 2012 to decide the fate of the islands. The options in the Referendum are:
- Full Independence
- Remain a Protectorate
- Join the Republic of Oceana
The Parliament of Oceana and the President of the Republic have stated that Oceana will respect the self-determination and ultimate decision of the people of Islas de Fuego, and take the necessary steps to accommodate for the outcome of the Referendum.
The Islanders chose to remain a protectorate.
The main industries on the islands are farming, fishing and tourism, the latter of which is a recently new development. The islands see some 200-250,000 visitors each year, a number that has been growing steadily.