The mythology Tokelau fait référence aux peuples vivant sur les îles Tokelau (Fakaofo, Nukunonu, Atafu). Il y a 5 000 ans, des habitants du littoral de la Chine du Sud, cultivateurs de millet et de riz, commencent à traverser le détroit pour s’installer à Taïwan. Vers 2000 BCE, migration takes place from Taiwan to the Philippines.
New migrations soon begin from the Philippines to Celebes and Timor and from there to the other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Around 1500 BCE, another movement leads from the Philippines to New Guinea and beyond, the Pacific Islands. The Austronesians are undoubtedly the first navigators in the history of mankind.
Although archaeological evidence indicates that the Tokelau Atolls were occupied around 1,000 years ago, oral traditions and reconstructed genealogies trace the occupation back to only a few hundred years. The three atolls lived quite independently of each other while maintaining great social and linguistic cohesion. Tokelau society was dominated by clans of traditional chiefs (the aliki Polynesians) and there have been both numerous skirmishes and inter-island weddings.