Around 900 BCE, Proto-Polynesian-speaking navigators traveled down to the Tongan archipelago, and from there fanned out to settle a lot of other Pacific islands, such as Hawaii to the north and New Zealand to the south. This led to a bunch of diverse languages like Hawaiian and Maori, with Tongan being the closest to the original Proto-Polynesian. In Tongan, the word Tonga meant "south", because the Tongan islands comprise the southernmost archipelago of central Polynesia. This same word mutated to a spelling of kona and a definition of "leeward" in Hawaiian, which later got applied to the name of an island and a kind of expensive coffee grown in the area. That's a cool connection! Usages of both the words Tonga and Kona have remained relatively constant in recent centuries.
Adam Aleksic, a rising sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University, has been described as the internet's sixth most famous etymologist. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.