District Area: 5.6 km2
Name and Etymology:
Vaitupu means "fountain of water" in Tuvaluan.
Vaitupu is the largest atoll of Tuvalu by area, and one of the largest by population. The Motufoua Secondary School is located on Vaitupu and is the largest high school in the nation.
Vaitupu is thought to have been settled in the 16th century and had extensive relations with Tonga, both in marriage and slavery. The island was converted by Samoan missionaries to Christianity in the 19th century. The first European visit was in 1825 and the island was soon subject to H.M. Ruge and Company. Vaitupu was administered by the UK from 1892 to 1978. It has been hit by several severe cyclones in recent years, as well as a drought.