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Micronesia
Micronesia
(from Greek: μικρός mikrós "small" and Greek: νῆσος nêsos "island") is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions, Polynesia
Polynesia
to the east and Melanesia
Melanesia
to the south. The region has a tropical marine climate, and is part of the Oceania ecozone. There are four main archipelagos along with numerous outlying islands. Micronesia
Micronesia
is divided politically among several sovereign countries. One of these is the Federated States of Micronesia, which is often called "Micronesia" for short and is not to be confused with the overall region. The Micronesia
Micronesia
region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Wake Island. Micronesia
Micronesia
began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers.[1] The earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
reached the Marianas. The coinage of the term "Micronesia" is usually attributed to Jules Dumont d'Urville's usage in 1832, however Domeny de Rienzi had used the term a year previously.[2]

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Caroline Islands 1.2 Gilbert Islands 1.3 Mariana Islands 1.4 Marshall Islands 1.5 Nauru 1.6 Wake Island 1.7 Geology 1.8 Fauna 1.9 Climate

2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Early European contact 2.3 Colonisation and conversion 2.4 German–Spanish Treaty of 1899 2.5 20th century 2.6 21st century

3 Politics

3.1 States and dependencies

4 Economy 5 Demographics

5.1 Indigenous groups 5.2 Immigrant groups 5.3 Languages

6 Culture

6.1 Animals and food 6.2 Architecture 6.3 Art 6.4 Cuisine 6.5 Education 6.6 Law 6.7 Media 6.8 Music and dance 6.9 Sports

7 Religion and mythology 8 See also 9 References

9.1 Notes 9.2 Bibliography

10 Further reading 11 External links

Geography[edit]

Micronesia
Micronesia
is one of three major cultural areas in the Pacific Ocean, along with Polynesia
Polynesia
and Melanesia

Micronesia
Micronesia
is a region that includes approximately 2100 islands, with a total land area of 2,700 km2 (1,000 sq mi), the largest of which is Guam, which covers 582 km2 (225 sq mi). The total ocean area within the perimeter of the islands is 7,400,000 km2 (2,900,000 sq mi).[3] There are four main island groups in Micronesia:

the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
( Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
and Palau) the Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
( Republic
Republic
of Kiribati) the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
( Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
and Guam) the Marshall Islands

Plus the island country of Nauru. Caroline Islands[edit] The Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
are a widely scattered archipelago consisting of about 500 small coral islands, north of New Guinea
New Guinea
and east of the Philippines. The Carolines consist of two states: the Federated States of Micronesia, consisting of approximately 600 islands on the eastern side of the chain with Kosrae
Kosrae
being the most eastern, and Palau consisting of 250 islands on the western side. Gilbert Islands[edit] The Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
are a chain of sixteen atolls and coral islands, arranged in an approximate north-to-south line. In a geographical sense, the equator serves as the dividing line between the northern Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
and the southern Gilbert Islands. The Republic
Republic
of Kiribati
Kiribati
contains all of the Gilberts, as well as the island of Tarawa, the site of the country's capital. Mariana Islands[edit] The Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of fifteen volcanic mountains. The island chain arises as a result of the western edge of the Pacific Plate
Pacific Plate
moving westward and plunging downward below the Mariana plate, a region which is the most volcanically active convergent plate boundary on Earth. The Marianas were politically divided in 1898, when the United States
United States
acquired title to Guam
Guam
under the Treaty of Paris, 1898, which ended the Spanish–American War. Spain
Spain
then sold the remaining northerly islands to Germany in 1899. Germany lost all of her colonies at the end of World War I
World War I
and the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
became a League of Nations Mandate, with Japan
Japan
as the mandatory. After World War II, the islands were transferred into the United Nations
United Nations
Trust Territory System, with the United States
United States
as Trustee. In 1976, the Northern Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
and the United States
United States
entered into a covenant of political union under which commonwealth status was granted the Northern Mariana Islands, and its residents received United States citizenship. Marshall Islands[edit]

Beach scenery at Laura, Majuro, Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
are located north of Nauru
Nauru
and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia, and south of the U.S. territory of Wake Island. The islands consist of 29 low-lying atolls and 5 isolated islands,[4] comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The atolls and islands form two groups: the Ratak Chain
Ratak Chain
and the Ralik Chain (meaning "sunrise" and "sunset" chains). All the islands in the chain are part of the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands, a presidential republic in free association with the United States. Having few natural resources, the islands' wealth is based on a service economy, as well as some fishing and agriculture. Of the 29 atolls, 24 of them are inhabited. Bikini Atoll
Atoll
is an atoll in the Marshall Islands. There are 23 islands in the Bikini Atoll. The islands of Bokonijien, Aerokojlol, and Nam were vaporized during nuclear tests that occurred there.[5] The islands are composed of low coral limestone and sand.[6] The average elevation is only about 2.1 metres (7 ft) above low tide level.

Image of the Castle Bravo
Castle Bravo
nuclear test, detonated on March 1, 1954, at Bikini Atoll

An illustration of the Cross Spikes Club[7] of the US Navy on Bikini Atoll, one of several Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
used for atomic bomb tests.

Kili Island
Kili Island
is one of the smallest islands in the Marshall Islands.

Nauru[edit] Nauru
Nauru
is an oval-shaped island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 42 km (26 mi) south of the Equator, listed as the world's smallest republic, covering just 21 km2 (8 sq mi).[8] With 11,347 residents, it is the second least-populated country, after Vatican City. The island is surrounded by a coral reef, which is exposed at low tide and dotted with pinnacles.[9] The presence of the reef has prevented the establishment of a seaport, although channels in the reef allow small boats access to the island.[10] A fertile coastal strip 150 to 300 m (490 to 980 ft) wide lies inland from the beach.[9]

Aerial view of Nauru

Nauruan districts of Denigomodu
Denigomodu
and Nibok

Wake Island[edit] Wake Island
Wake Island
is a coral atoll with a coastline of 19 km (12 mi) just north of the Marshall Islands. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Access to the island is restricted, and all activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force.

Wake Island
Wake Island
as depicted by the United States
United States
Exploring Expedition, drawn by Alfred Thomas Agate

Aerial view Wake Island, looking westward

Geology[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2013)

The majority of the islands in the area are part of a coral atoll. Coral atolls begin as coral reefs that grow on the slopes of a central volcano. When the volcano sinks back down into the sea, the coral continues to grow, keeping the reef at or above water level. One exception is Pohnpei
Pohnpei
in the Federated States of Micronesia, which still has the central volcano and coral reefs around it. Fauna[edit] Main articles: List of mammals of Micronesia
List of mammals of Micronesia
and List of birds of Micronesia

Spinner Dolphins

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2013)

Climate[edit] The region has a tropical marine climate moderated by seasonal northeast trade winds. There is little seasonal temperature variation. The dry season runs from December or January to June, and the rainy season from July to November or December. Because of the location of some islands, the rainy season can sometimes include typhoons. History[edit] See also: History of the Federated States of Micronesia Prehistory[edit]

Mount Marpi in Saipan.

Micronesia
Micronesia
began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers.[1] There are numerous difficulties with conducting archaeological excavations in the islands, due to their size, settlement patterns and storm damage. As a result, much evidence is based on linguistic analysis.[11] The earliest archaeological traces of civilization have been found on the island of Saipan, dated to 1500 BCE or slightly before.[12] Micronesian colonists gradually settled the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
during the 2nd millennium BC, with inter-island navigation made possible using traditional stick charts.[13] Construction of Nan Madol, a megalithic complex made from basalt lava logs in Pohnpei
Pohnpei
began as early as 1200 CE.

Central Nan Madol
Nan Madol
(map)

Nan Madol

The prehistory of many Micronesian islands such as Yap
Yap
is not known very well.[14] Early European contact[edit] The earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
reached the Marianas
Marianas
[15] This contact is recorded in Antonio Pigafetta's chronicle of Magellan's voyage, in which he recounts that the Chamorro people
Chamorro people
had no apparent knowledge of people outside of their island group.[16] A Portuguese account of the same voyage suggests that the Chamorro people
Chamorro people
who greeted the travellers did so "without any shyness as if they were good acquaintances", raising the possibility that earlier unrecorded contact had occurred.[17] Further contact was made during the sixteenth century, although often initial encounters were very brief. Documents relating to the 1525 voyage of Diogo da Rocha suggest that he made the first European contact with inhabitants of the Caroline Islands, possibly staying on the Ulithi
Ulithi
atoll for four months and encountering Yap. Marshall Islanders were encountered by Alvaro de Saavedra
Alvaro de Saavedra
in 1529.[18] More certain recorded contact with the Yap
Yap
islands occurred in 1625.[19] Colonisation and conversion[edit] In the early 17th century Spain
Spain
colonized Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
(what would later become the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
and the Republic
Republic
of Palau), creating the Spanish East Indies, which was governed from the Spanish Philippines. In 1819, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
– a Protestant group – brought their Puritan ways to Polynesia. Soon after, the Hawaiian Missionary Society was founded, and sent missionaries into Micronesia. Conversion was not met with as much opposition, as the local religions were less developed (at least according to Western ethnographic accounts). In contrast, it took until the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th centuries for missionaries to fully covert the inhabitants of Melanesia; however, before a cultural contrast can even be made, one cannot neglect to take into account the fact that Melanesia
Melanesia
has always had deadly strains of more malaria present in various degrees and distributions throughout its history see: De Rays Expedition
De Rays Expedition
and up to the present; in contrast, Micronesia
Micronesia
does not, and never seems to have had any malarial mosquitos nor pathogens on any of its islands in the past.[20] German–Spanish Treaty of 1899[edit]

German New Guinea
New Guinea
before and after the German-Spanish treaty of 1899

Main article: German–Spanish Treaty (1899) In the Spanish–American War, Spain
Spain
lost many of its remaining colonies. In the Pacific, the United States
United States
took possession of the Spanish Philippines
Philippines
and Guam. On January 17, 1899, the United States also took possession of unclaimed and uninhabited Wake Island. This left Spain
Spain
with the remainder of the Spanish East Indies, about 6,000 tiny islands that were sparsely populated and not very productive. These islands were ungovernable after the loss of the administrative center of Manila, and undefendable after the loss of two Spanish fleets in the war. The Spanish government therefore decided to sell the remaining islands to a new colonial power: the German Empire. The treaty, which was signed by Spanish Prime Minister Francisco Silvela on February 12, 1899, transferred the Caroline Islands, the Mariana Islands, Palau
Palau
and other possessions to Germany. Under German control, the islands became a protectorate and were administered from German New Guinea. Nauru
Nauru
had already been annexed and claimed as a colony by Germany in 1888. 20th century[edit]

Map from 1961 of the US Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, formerly Japan's South Pacific Mandate.

In the early 20th century, the islands of Micronesia
Micronesia
were divided between three foreign powers:

the United States, which took control of Guam
Guam
following the Spanish–American War
Spanish–American War
of 1898, and claimed Wake Island; Germany, which took Nauru
Nauru
and bought the Marshall, Caroline, and Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
from Spain; and the British Empire, which took the Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
(Kiribati).

During World War I, Germany's Pacific island territories were seized and became League of Nations
League of Nations
mandates in 1923. Nauru
Nauru
became an Australian mandate, while Germany's other territories in Micronesia were given as a mandate to Japan
Japan
and were named the South Pacific Mandate. During World War II, Nauru
Nauru
was occupied by Japanese troops, and was bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. Following Japan's defeat in World War II
World War II
its mandate became a United Nations Trusteeship administered by the United States
United States
as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Nauru
Nauru
became independent in 1968. 21st century[edit] Today, most of Micronesia
Micronesia
are independent states, except for Guam
Guam
and Wake Island, which are U.S. territories, and for the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Politics[edit] The Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
is a regional intergovernmental organisation whose membership includes both nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and their metropolitan powers. States and dependencies[edit]

Country Population (July 2016 estimate)[21] Area (km2) Population density (/km2) Urban population Life expectancy Literacy Rate Official language(s) Main religion(s) Ethnic groups

 Federated States of Micronesia 104,937 702 152.641 22% 71.23 89% English Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
50%, Protestant 47%, others 3% Chuukese 48.8%, Pohnpeian 24.2%, Kosraean 6.2%, Yapese 5.2%, Yap
Yap
outer islands 4.5%, Asian 1.8%, Polynesian 1.5%, other 7.8%

  Guam
Guam
(United States) 162,896 1,478 122.371 93% 78.18 99% English 38.3%, Chamorro 22.2%[22] Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
85%, Buddhism 3.6, other religion 11.4% Chamorro 37.1%, Filipino 26.3%, other Pacific islander 11.3%, white 6.9%, other 8.6%, mixed 9.8%

 Kiribati 114,395 811 122.666 44% 64.03 92% English, Gilbertese (de facto) Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
55%, Protestant 36% Micronesian 98.8%

 Marshall Islands 53,066 181 363.862 71% 71.48 93.7% Marshallese 98.2%, English Protestant 54.8%, other Christian 40.6% Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2%

 Nauru 11,347 21 441.286 100% 64.99 99%[23] Nauruanf[›] Nauru
Nauru
Congregational Church 35.4%, Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
33.2%, Nauru Independent Church (Protestant)[24] 10.4%, Baha'i faith 10%, Buddhism 9% Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%

  Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
(United States) 55,023 464 104.131 91% 76.9 97% English, Chamorro and Carolinian[25] Roman Catholic, Buddhism 10.6% Asian 56.3%, Pacific islander 36.3%, White 1.8%, other 0.8%, mixed 4.8%

 Palau 21,503 459 45.488 81% 71.51 92% Paluan 64.7%d[›], English Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
41.6%, Protestant 23.3% Palauan 69.9%, Filipino 15.3%, Chinese 4.9%, other Asian 2.4%, white 1.9%, Carolinian 1.4%, other Micronesian 1.1%, other 3.2%

Total 523,167 4,116 193.206 71.71% 71.19 94.93%

Economy[edit] Nationally, the primary income is the sale of fishing rights to foreign nations that harvest tuna using huge purse seiners. A few Japanese long liners still ply the waters. The crews aboard fishing fleets contribute little to the local economy since their ships typically set sail loaded with stores and provisions that are cheaper than local goods. Additional money comes in from government grants, mostly from the United States, and the $150 million the US paid into a trust fund for reparations of residents of Bikini Atoll
Atoll
that had to move after nuclear testing. Few mineral deposits worth exploiting exist, except for some high-grade phosphate, especially on Nauru. Most residents of Micronesia
Micronesia
can freely move to, and work within, the United States. Relatives working in the US that send money home to relatives represent the primary source of individual income. Additional individual income comes mainly from government jobs, and work within shops and restaurants. The tourist industry consists mainly of scuba divers that come to see the coral reefs, do wall dives, and visit sunken ships from WWII. Major stops for SCUBA divers in approximate order are Palau, Chuuk, Yap, and Phonpei. Some private yacht owners visit the area for months or years at a time. However, they tend to stay mainly at ports of entry and are too few in number to be counted as a major source of income. Copra production used to be a more significant source of income, however, world prices have dropped in part to large palm plantations that are now planted in places like Borneo. Demographics[edit] Further information: Demographics of Oceania The people today form many ethnicities, but are all descended from and belong to the Micronesian culture. The Micronesian culture was one of the last native cultures of the region to develop. It developed from a mixture of Melanesians
Melanesians
and Filipinos. Because of this mixture of descent, many of the ethnicities of Micronesia
Micronesia
feel closer to some groups in Melanesia, or the Philippines. A good example of this are the Yapese people
Yapese people
who are related to Austronesian
Austronesian
tribes in the Northern Philippines.[26] A 2011 survey found that 93.1% of Micronesian are Christians.[27] There are also substantial Asian communities found across the region, most notably in the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
where they form the majority and smaller communities of Europeans who have migrated from the United States
United States
or are descendants of settlers during European colonial rule in Micronesia. Though they are all geographically part of the same region, they all have very different colonial histories. The US-administered areas of Micronesia
Micronesia
have a unique experience that sets them apart from the rest of the Pacific. Micronesia
Micronesia
has great economic dependency on its former or current motherlands, something only comparable to the French Pacific. Sometimes, the term American Micronesia
Micronesia
is used to acknowledge the difference in cultural heritage.[28] Indigenous groups[edit] Carolinian people It is thought that ancestors of the Carolinian people
Carolinian people
may have originally immigrated from the Asian mainland and Indonesia
Indonesia
to Micronesia
Micronesia
around 2,000 years ago. Their primary language is Carolinian, called Refaluwasch by native speakers, which has a total of about 5,700 speakers. The Carolinians have a matriarchal society in which respect is a very important factor in their daily lives, especially toward the matriarchs. Most Carolinians are of the Roman Catholic faith. The immigration of Carolinians to Saipan
Saipan
began in the early 19th century, after the Spanish reduced the local population of Chamorro natives to just 3,700. They began to immigrate mostly sailing from small canoes from other islands, which a typhoon previously devastated. The Carolinians have a much darker complexion than the native Chamorros. Chamorro people

Chamorro people
Chamorro people
in 1915

The Chamorro people
Chamorro people
are the indigenous peoples of the Mariana Islands, which are politically divided between the United States
United States
territory of Guam
Guam
and the United States
United States
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia. The Chamorro are commonly believed to have come from Southeast Asia
Asia
at around 2000 BC. They are most closely related to other Austronesian
Austronesian
natives to the west in the Philippines
Philippines
and Taiwan, as well as the Carolines to the south. The Chamorro language
Chamorro language
is included in the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian
Austronesian
family. Because Guam
Guam
was colonized by Spain
Spain
for over 300 years, many words derive from the Spanish language. The traditional Chamorro number system was replaced by Spanish numbers.[29] Chuukese people The Chuukese people are an ethnic group in Oceania. They constitute 48% of the population of the Federated States of Micronesia. Their language is Chuukese. The home atoll of Chuuk is also known by the former name Truk. Kaping people The roughly 3000 residents of the Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
that reside in Kapingamarangi, nicknamed 'Kapings', are both one of the most remote and most difficult people to visit in Micronesia
Micronesia
and the entire world. Their home atoll is almost a 1,600 km (1,000 mi) round trip to the nearest point of immigration check-in and check-out. There are no regular flights. The only way to legally visit is to first check-in, travel on a high-speed sailboat to the atoll, and then backtrack almost 800 km (500 mi). Owing to this difficulty, only a handful of the few sailors that travel across the Pacific will attempt to visit. The local language is the Kapingamarangi
Kapingamarangi
language. The children typically attend high-school on Pohnpei
Pohnpei
where they stay with relatives in an enclave that is almost exclusively made up of Kapings. Nauruan people The Nauruan people are an ethnicity, and they inhabit the Pacific island of Nauru. They are most likely a blend of other Pacific peoples.[30] The origin of the Nauruan people has not yet been finally determined. It can possibly be explained by the last Malayo-Pacific human migration (c. 1200). It was probably seafaring or shipwrecked Polynesians
Polynesians
or Melanesians, which established themselves there because there was not already an indigenous people present, whereas the Micronesians were already crossed with the Melanesians
Melanesians
in this area. Immigrant groups[edit] Asian people See also: Japanese settlement in Palau, Japanese settlement in the Federated States of Micronesia, Koreans in Micronesia, Chinese in Palau, and Filipinos in Palau There are large Asian communities found across certain Micronesian countries that are either immigrants, foreign workers or descendants of either one, most migrated to the islands during the 1800s and 1900s.[31] According to the 2010 census results Guam
Guam
was 26.3% Filipino, 2.2% Korean, 1.6% Chinese and 2% other Asian.[32] The 2010 census showed the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
was 50% Asian of which 35.3% were Filipino, 6.8% Chinese, 4.2% Korean and 3.7% other Asian (mainly Japanese, Bangladeshi and Thai).[33] The 2010 census for the Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
showed 1.4% were Asian while statistics for Nauru
Nauru
showed 8% of Nauruans were Chinese.[34][35] The 2005 census results for Palau
Palau
showed 16.3% were Filipino, 1.6% Chinese, 1.6% Vietnamese and 3.4% other Asian (mostly Bangladeshi, Japanese and Korean).[36] Japanese rule in Micronesia
Micronesia
also led to Japanese people settling the islands and marrying native spouses. Kessai Note, the former president of the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
has partial Japanese ancestry by way of his paternal grandfather. European people The 2010 census results of Guam
Guam
showed 7.1% were white while the 2005 census for Palau
Palau
showed 8% were European. Smaller numbers at 1.9% in Palau
Palau
and 1.8% in the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
were recorded as "white". In conjunction to the European communities there are large amounts of mixed Micronesians, some of which have European ancestry. Languages[edit] The largest group of languages spoken in Micronesia
Micronesia
are the Micronesian languages. They are in the family of Oceanic languages, part of the Austronesian
Austronesian
language group. They are descended from the protolanguage Proto-Oceanic, which are developed from Proto-Austronesian. The languages in the Micronesian family are Marshallese, Gilbertese, Kosraean, Nauruan, as well as a large sub-family called the Trukic–Ponapeic languages containing 11 languages. There are two languages spoken in Micronesia
Micronesia
that are part of the Sunda–Sulawesi language group; Chamorro in the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
and Palauan in Palau. On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi
Kapingamarangi
represent an extreme westward extension of Polynesian. Culture[edit] Animals and food[edit] By the time Western contact occurred, although Palau
Palau
did not have dogs, they did have fowls and maybe also pigs. Nowhere else in Micronesia
Micronesia
were pigs known about at that time. Fruit bats are native to Palau, but other mammals are rare. Reptiles are numerous, and both mollusks and fish are an important food source.[37] The people of Palau, the Marianas, and Yap
Yap
often chew betel nuts seasoned with lime and pepper leaf. Western Micronesia
Micronesia
was unaware of the ceremonial drink, which was called saka on Kosrae
Kosrae
and sakau on Pohnpei.[14] Architecture[edit] The book Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia
Micronesia
argues that the most prolific pre-colonial Micronesian architecture is: "Palau's monumental sculpted hills, megalithic stone carvings, and elaborately decorated structure of wood placed on piers above elevated stone platforms".[38] The archeological traditions of the Yapese people
Yapese people
remained relatively unchanged even after the first European contact with the region during Magellan's 1520s circumnavigation of the globe.[14] Art[edit] Micronesia's artistic tradition has developed from the Lapita culture. Among the most prominent works of the region is the megalithic floating city of Nan Madol. The city began in 1200 CE, and was still being built when European explorers begin to arrive around 1600. The city, however, had declined by around 1800 along with the Saudeleur dynasty, and was completely abandoned by the 1820s. During the 19th century, the region was divided between the colonial powers, but art continued to thrive. Wood-carving, particularly by men, flourished in the region, resulted in richly decorated ceremonial houses in Belau, stylized bowls, canoe ornaments, ceremonial vessels, and sometimes sculptured figures. Women created textiles and ornaments such as bracelets and headbands. Stylistically, traditional Micronesian art is streamlined and of a practical simplicity to its function, but is typically finished to a high standard of quality. [39] This was mostly to make the best possible use of what few natural materials they had available to them.[40] The first half of the 20th century saw a downturn in Micronesia's cultural integrity and a strong foreign influence from both western and Japanese Imperialist powers. A number of historical artistic traditions, especially sculpture, ceased to be practiced, although other art forms continued, including traditional architecture and weaving. Independence from colonial powers in the second half of the century resulted in a renewed interest in, and respect for, traditional arts. A notable movement of contemporary art also appeared in Micronesia
Micronesia
towards the end of the 20th century.[41] Cuisine[edit] The cuisine of the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
is tropical in nature, including such dishes as Kelaguen
Kelaguen
as well as many others. Palauan cuisine includes local foods such as cassava, taro, yam, potato, fish and pork. Western cuisine is favored among young Palauans. Education[edit] The educational systems in the nations of Micronesia
Micronesia
vary depending on the country, and there are several higher level educational institutions. The CariPac consists of institutions of higher education in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. The Agricultural Development in the American Pacific
Agricultural Development in the American Pacific
is a partnership of the University of Hawaii, American Samoa
American Samoa
Community College, College of Micronesia, Northern Marianas
Marianas
College, and the University of Guam. In the Federated States of Micronesia, education is required for citizens aged 6 to 13,[42] and is important to their economy.[43] The literacy rate for citizens aged 15 to 24 is 98.8%.[44] The College of Micronesia-FSM has a campus in each of the four states with its national campus in the capital city of Palikir, Pohnpei. The COM-FSM system also includes the Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FMI) on the Yap
Yap
islands.[45][46] The public education in Guam
Guam
is organized by the Guam
Guam
Department of Education. Guam
Guam
also has several educational institutions, such as University of Guam, Pacific Islands University and Guam
Guam
Community College, There is also the Guam
Guam
Public Library System and the Umatac Outdoor Library. Weriyeng[47] is one of the last two schools of traditional navigation found in the central Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
in Micronesia, the other being Fanur.[48] The Northern Marianas
Marianas
College is a two-year community college located in the United States
United States
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The College of the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
is a community college in the Marshall Islands. Law[edit] Understanding Law in Micronesia
Micronesia
notes that The Federated States of Micronesia's laws and legal institutions are "uninterestingly similar to [those of Western countries]". However, it explains that "law in Micronesia
Micronesia
is an extraordinary flux and flow of contrasting thought and meaning, inside and outside the legal system". It says that a knee-jerk reaction would be that law is messed up in the region and that improvement is required, but argues that the failure is "one endemic to the nature of law or to the ideological views we hold about law". [49] The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trusteeship administered by the United States, borrowed heavily from United States
United States
law in establishing the Trust Territory Code during the Law and Development movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Many of those provisions were adopted by the new Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
when the Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
became self-governing in 1979.[50] Media[edit] In September 2007, journalists in the region founded the Micronesian Media Association.[51] Music and dance[edit] See also: Music of the Federated States of Micronesia Micronesian music
Micronesian music
is influential to those living in the Micronesian islands.[52] Some of the music is based around mythology and ancient Micronesian rituals. It covers a range of styles from traditional songs, handed down through generations, to contemporary music. Traditional beliefs suggest that the music can be presented to people in dreams and trances, rather than being written by composers themselves. Micronesian folk music is, like Polynesian music, primarily vocal-based. In the Marshall Islands, the roro is a kind of traditional chant, usually about ancient legends and performed to give guidance during navigation and strength for mothers in labour. Modern bands have blended the unique songs of each island in the country with modern music. Though drums are not generally common in Micronesian music, one-sided hourglass-shaped drums are a major part of Marshallese music.[53] There is a traditional Marshallese dance called beet, which is influenced by Spanish folk dances. In it, men and women side-step in parallel lines. There is a kind of stick dance performed by the Jobwa, nowadays only for very special occasions. Popular music, both from Micronesia
Micronesia
and from other areas of the world, is played on radio stations in Micronesia.[52] Sports[edit] The region is home to the Micronesian Games,[54] a quadrennial international multi-sport event involving all Micronesia's countries and territories except Wake Island. Nauru
Nauru
has two national sports, weightlifting and Australian rules football.[55] According to 2007 Australian Football League International Census figures, there are around 180 players in the Nauru
Nauru
senior competition and 500 players in the junior competition,[56] representing an overall participation rate of over 30% for the country. Religion and mythology[edit] Micronesian mythology comprises the traditional belief systems of the people of Micronesia. There is no single belief system in the islands of Micronesia, as each island region has its own mythological beings. There are several significant figures and myths in the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauran and Kiribati
Kiribati
traditions. See also[edit]

Flags of Oceania

Micronesia
Micronesia
portal Oceania
Oceania
portal Geography portal

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b Kirch 2001, p. 167. ^ Rainbird 2004, p. 6. ^ Kirch 2001, p. 165. ^ "Geography". rmiembassyus.org. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013.  ^ "Bikini Atoll
Atoll
Reference Facts". Retrieved 12 August 2013.  ^ "Marshall Islands". triposo.com.  ^ "Operation Crossroads: Bikini Atoll". Navy Historical Center. Department of the Navy. Archived from the original on 21 May 2000. Retrieved 4 December 2013.  ^ Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(2011). "Nauru". The World Factbook. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2011.  ^ a b "Background Note: Nauru". State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. September 2005. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  ^ Thaman, RR; Hassall, DC. "Nauru: National Environmental Management Strategy and National Environmental Action Plan" (PDF). South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. p. 234.  ^ Lal 2000, p. 62. ^ Kirch 2001, p. 170. ^ The History of Mankind Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine. by Professor Friedrich Ratzel, Book
Book
II, Section A, The Races of Oceania
Oceania
page 165, picture of a stick chart from the Marshall Islands. MacMillan and Co., published 1896. ^ a b c Morgan, William N. (1988). Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia. p. 30. ISBN 9780292786219.  ^ Tucker, Spencer (2009). "The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History". ISBN 9781851099511.  ^ Levesque, R. (Ed.) (1992–97). History of Micronesia: A collection of source documents, (Vol. 1–20). Quebec, Canada: Levesque Publications pp. 249, 251 ^ Rainbird 2004, p. 13-14. ^ "Geological Survey Professional Paper".  ^ Rainbird 2004, p. 14. ^ Ridgell, Reilly (1995). Pacific Nations and Territories: The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polonesia. p. 43. ISBN 9781573060011.  ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ Languages of Guam
Guam
Archived 23 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Ns.gov.gu. Retrieved on 2010-11-12. ^ Nauru. Talktalk.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-12. ^ Nauru. Travelblog.org. Retrieved on 2010-11-12. ^ DOI Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
Archived 9 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Doi.gov. Retrieved on 2010-11-12. ^ "Micronesians - Introduction, Location, Language, Folklore, Religion, Major holidays, Rites of passage". everyculture.com.  ^ Christianity in its Global Context, 1970–2020 Society, Religion, and Mission, Center for the Study of Global Christianity ^ Kiste, Robert C.; Marshall, Mac (1999). American Anthropology in Micronesia: An Assessment. p. 1. ISBN 9780824820176.  ^ Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga. Del español al chamorro: Lenguas en contacto en el Pacífico. Madrid, 2009, Ediciones Gondo, www.edicionesgondo.com ^ C.D. Bay-Hansen (2006). FutureFish 2001: FutureFish in Century 21: The North Pacific Fisheries Tackle Asian Markets, the Can-Am Salmon Treaty, and Micronesian Seas. Trafford Publishing. p. 277. ISBN 1-55369-293-4.  ^ Crocombe, R. G. (1 January 2007). " Asia
Asia
in the Pacific Islands: Replacing the West". editorips@usp.ac.fj – via Google Books.  ^ " Guam
Guam
Ethnic groups - Demographics". indexmundi.com.  ^ " Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
Demographics Profile 2016". indexmundi.com.  ^ " Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
Ethnic groups - Demographics". indexmundi.com.  ^ " Nauru
Nauru
Ethnic groups - Demographics". indexmundi.com.  ^ " Palau
Palau
Ethnic groups - Demographics". indexmundi.com.  ^ Morgan, William N. (1988). Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia. p. 3. ISBN 9780292786219.  ^ Morgan, William N. (1988). Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia. p. 2. ISBN 9780292786219.  ^ "Micronesia, 1800–1900 a.d". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2000. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.  ^ "Oceanic art", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006. ^ "Micronesia, 1900 a.d.–present". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2000. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009.  ^ "Education Profile of Micronesia, Micronesia
Micronesia
Education, Education in Micronesia, Universities in Micronesia, Schools in Micronesia, Micronesia
Micronesia
Education Profile". micronesiaeducation.info. Retrieved 13 October 2011.  ^ Dunford, Betty; Ridgell, Reilly (1996). Pacific neighbors : the islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bess Press. ISBN 1-57306-023-2.  ^ "UNESCO Institute for Statistics". UNESCO. Retrieved 13 October 2011.  ^ "Fisheries and Maritime Institute". COM-FSM website.  ^ "Outline of the Fisheries Training Project in the Federated States of Micronesia". Japan
Japan
International Cooperation Agency. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Partner Country's Implementing Organization: Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FMI), College of Micronesia
Micronesia
(COM)  ^ Gladwin, Thomas (1970). East Is a Big Bird. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-674-22425-6.  ^ Woodward, David (1998). History of Cartography. University of Chicago Press. p. 470. ISBN 0-226-90728-7. Retrieved 2010-08-04.  ^ Tamanaha, Brian Z. (1993). Understanding Law in Micronesia: An Interpretive Approach to Transplanted Law. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9004097686.  ^ Tamanaha, Brian Z. (1993). Understanding Law in Micronesia: An Interpretive Approach to Transplanted Law. p. 2. ISBN 9004097686.  ^ Regional journalists form Micronesian media group Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Saipan
Saipan
Tribune, 26 September 2007 ^ a b Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (2013). The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 1. Routledge. pp. 697–706. ISBN 1136095705.  ^ [1] Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Micronesian Games begin in Palau". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. August 1, 2010. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.  ^ "Pacific Sporting Needs Assessment" (PDF). ausport.gov.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2007.  ^ "AFL International Census 2007" (PDF). afl.com.au. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

Kirch, Patrick Vinton (2001). On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92896-1.  Lal, Brij V.; Fortune, Kate (2000). The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. University of Hawaii
Hawaii
Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2265-1.  Rainbird, Paul (2004). The Archaeology of Micronesia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-65630-6. 

Further reading[edit]

Kirch, Patrick Vinton (2000). On the Road of the Winds. An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact. University of California Press. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0-520-22347-0.  Goetzfridt, Nicholas J. and Karen M. Peacock (2002). Micronesian Histories: An Analytical Bibliography and Guide to Interpretations. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313291039

External links[edit]

Find more aboutMicronesiaat's sister projects

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