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Ña Motu Roaroa
Islas de Juan Fernandez
Te Pito O Te Henua national flag
 Official: Arero Henua
 Others: Castilian
Area: 38.5 square miles
Established: 1878, Henua claim
Population: 600 Tañata Roaroa
King: Ña'ara (Nga'ara) III
Subdivision of: Henua


Far from Henua are Ña Motu Roaroa, the Very Distant Islands, commonly called the Roaroa Islands. Their Castilian name, Islas de Juan Fernandez, comes from the explorer who discovered them. Much closer to Chile than to Henua, they have been the cause of a number of territorial disputes over the years.

When Juan Fernandez came upon the islands in 1574, he found a small settlement of Henua sailors living there. This was Henua society's first contact with Europeans, though it does not seem to have amounted to much. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries the islands were home to similar temporary settlements of Henua fishermen, Castilian exiles, and pirates, seal hunters, and naturalists from many countries.

During these centuries, the royal governments of both Henua and Castile had assumed Roaroa to be in their own territories, though neither did anything with them. Chile claimed the islands upon independence, but likewise did nothing at all to back up its claim. When a royal expedition arrived in 1878 to build a moai and signal Henua's sovereignty, it provoked a long dispute. Chile did not recognize Henua's claim until 1961.

The islands have become something of a tourist destination, though not as popular as Henua itself. Roaroa now has a permanent population, about half Henua and half South American. The islands have had autonomy and full democracy since the 1970s.


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