King Malila the Giant Tortoise & King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV 1 Seniti Tonga Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making
King Malila the Giant Tortoise 1 Seniti Tonga Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making
Reverse: Tu'i Malila (meaning King Malila), a Radiated Tortoise (Geochelone radiata) given to the Tongan Royal Family by Captain Cook in 1777.
Lettering: 1 SENITI
Obverse: Effigy of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV facing right, date below
Lettering: TAUFA'AHAU TUPOU IV
King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV (1965-2006)
Type Standard circulation coin
Value 1 Seniti
0.01 TOP = USD 0.0043
Currency Paʻanga (1967-date)
Weight 1.69 g
Diameter 17.5 mm
Thickness 1 mm
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Number N# 5193
References KM# 27a, Schön# 18a
Tu'i Malila (1777 – 16 May 1966) was a tortoise that Captain James Cook was traditionally said to have given to the royal family of Tonga. She was a female radiated tortoise (Geochelone radiata) from Madagascar. Although believed to have been a male during its life, examination after the tortoise's death suggested it was female.
The name means King Malila in the Tongan language.
According to one story, Tu'i Malila was one of a pair of tortoises given by Captain Cook to the Tongan royal family upon his visit to Tonga in July 1777. The other tortoise reportedly died shortly after Cook's visit. This story has been discounted on the basis that Cook made no mention of the event in his journal, although it has been suggested that the tortoise may have been the gift of a member of Cook's crew instead.
According to other sources, George Tupou I obtained her from a vessel which called in Haʻapai in the first half of the 19th century.
The tortoise was taken to Muʻa, where it was kept in a compound named Malila, from which it took its name. Around 1921, Sālote Tupou III moved the tortoise to the Royal Palace. Despite being kicked by a horse and run over several times, the tortoise continued its life, although it was left blind and with a badly wounded right-hand side.
During Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Tour of Tonga in 1953, Tu'i Malila was one of the first animals shown to the monarch on her official visit to the island nation.
The tortoise died on 16 May 1966.
Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV (4 July 1918 – 10 September 2006) was the King of Tonga, from the death of his mother, Queen Sālote Tupou III, in 1965 until his own death in 2006.
Immediately prior to his death, he was the fourth longest-reigning living monarch in the world after Kings Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Abdul Halim of Kedah of Malaysia and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms.