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Micronesia News - History

Micronesia News - History

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Micronesia News


In The News

Federated States of Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia ( / ˌ m aɪ k r oʊ ˈ n iː ʒ ə / ( listen ) abbreviated FSM) or simply Micronesia, is an island country in Oceania. It consists of four states – from west to east, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae – that are spread across the western Pacific. Together, the states comprise around 607 islands (a combined land area of approximately 702 km 2 or 271 sq mi) that cover a longitudinal distance of almost 2,700 km (1,678 mi) just north of the equator. They lie northeast of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, south of Guam and the Marianas, west of Nauru and the Marshall Islands, east of Palau and the Philippines, about 2,900 km (1,802 mi) north of eastern Australia, 3,400 km (2,133 mi) southeast of Japan, and some 4,000 km (2,485 mi) southwest of the main islands of the Hawaiian Islands.

  • 48.8% Chuukese
  • 24.2% Pohnpeian
  • 6.2% Kosraean
  • 5.2% Yapese
  • 4.5% Outer Yapese
  • 1.8% Asian
  • 1.5% Polynesian
  • 6.4% Other
  • 1.4% Unknown

While the FSM's total land area is quite small, the country's waters occupy more than 2,600,000 km 2 (1,003,866 sq mi) of the Pacific Ocean, giving the country the 14th-largest exclusive economic zone in the world. [7] The sovereign island nation's capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, while the largest city is Weno, located in the Chuuk Atoll.

Each of its four states is centered on one or more main high islands, and all but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls. The Federated States of Micronesia is spread across part of the Caroline Islands in the wider region of Micronesia, which consists of thousands of small islands divided among several countries. The term Micronesia may refer to the Federated States or to the region as a whole.

The FSM was formerly a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S. administration, but it formed its own constitutional government on May 10, 1979, becoming a sovereign state after independence was attained on November 3, 1986, under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Other neighboring island entities, and also former members of the TTPI, formulated their own constitutional governments and became the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau (ROP). The FSM has a seat in the United Nations and has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.

Guam podcast to tell stories of modern Micronesian history

HAGATNA, Guam &mdash A podcast focused on Guam&rsquos history aims to deliver a greater understanding of the people and ideas that helped shape modern Micronesia.

The producers of Memoirs Pasifika hope to increase interest in events that influenced contemporary Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific Daily News reported Sunday.

The podcast also plans to consider Micronesia&rsquos impact on the global stage.

Each episode explores a different modern history topic, largely told through interviews with people who witnessed or participated in events.

&ldquoMicronesia is a group of tiny islands with a big history,&rdquo producer Tony Azios said in a statement. &ldquoDespite possessing a wealth of fascinating stories, very few podcasts discuss Micronesia&rsquos unique history or tap into the region&rsquos archival collections.&rdquo

Memoirs Pasifika is &ldquodedicated to recent Micronesian history &mdash while giving voice to the people who lived it,&rdquo Azios said.

The show works with experts, including history and Micronesian studies professors at the University of Guam and officials from regional archival organizations such as the Micronesian Area Research Center.

The first episode, &ldquoChristmas Odyssey in Vietnam,&rdquo tells the story of Guam Gov. Carlos Camacho&rsquos 1969 trip to visit troops from the U.S. territory serving in Vietnam.

The Memoirs Pasifika podcast is available for download and streaming across music and social media sites, the producers said.

The Federated States of Micronesia -YAP,CHUUK,POHNPEI,KOSRAE-

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a grouping of 607 small islands in the Western Pacific about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, lying just above the Equator. Generally speaking, the FSM comprises what is known as the Western and Eastern Caroline Islands.
While the country's total land area amounts to only 270.8 square miles, it occupies more than one million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, and ranges 1,700 miles from West (Yap) to East (Kosrae) . Each of the four States centers around one or more "high islands," and all but Kosrae include numerous atolls.

Yap State is made up of 4 large islands, 7 small islands and 134 atolls, with a total land area of 45.6 square miles. Chuuk State has a total land area of 49.2 square miles and includes seven major island groups. Pohnpei State has 133.4 square miles of land area, of which 130 is accounted for by Pohnpei island, the largest in FSM. Kosrae is essentially one high island of 42.3 square miles.

The islands of the FSM are the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago resulting in islands and atolls of incredible variety. Some are tips of mountain peaks thrust above the surface and now surrounded by fringing reefs. Others are atolls -- islands that have sunk beneath the surface, leaving a ring of coral barrier reef and tiny island islets encircling a coral and sand lagoon. And, still others, are mixtures of atolls and high rigged islands within a lagoon.


The FSM enjoys a tropical climate, with relatively even, warm temperatures throughout the year.
The climate in the FSM averages 80° F year round, with highs in the high 80s and lows in the high 70s. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer months. The rainfall on each island varies, however, so check with the local visitor authority for anticipated dry and wet seasons. Trade winds come mainly from the northeast from December through June. Light tropical clothing is the norm year 'round in the FSM.

Pohnpei reputedly is one of the wettest places on Earth, with some locations on the interior of the island receiving up to 330 inches of rain per year. The trade wind season generally occurs from December to March.


Geological land forms in the FSM are diverse, beautiful and pristine. Visitors will find a wide range of natural features, including 2,000-foot mountain peaks, deeply gorged river valleys, rolling hills, open grassland, lush mangrove forests, protected lagoons, and secluded and often pristine sandy beaches.

Recognizing the beauty and abundance of the land and the sea, the inhabitants of the FSM have developed settlement patterns in keeping with their surroundings. Each inhabited island is divided into municipalities, villages (sections of municipalities), and farmsteads (smallest land holding unit within a village). The manner in which the people have arranged over the landscape varies from disbursed settlement to neatly clustered, but not overcrowded, villages.

Special importance is attached to land in Micronesia both because of its short supply and its traditional importance. Many parcels of land are held by families or clans. Still, visitors are able to access areas of interest in the country, and along the way they are afforded a glimpse into the daily activities of the people of the country.


English is the official language of the government and of commerce.
Eight major indigenous languages spoken: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaians, Chuukese, Pohnpeians, Kosraeans, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi.
Many elderly people are fluent in Japanese.
Some common phrases for each of the main languages are available below:


The people of the FSM are classified as Micronesians, although some inhabitants of Pohnpei State are of Polynesian origin. They are actually a heterogeneous mixture with different customs and traditions bound together by recent history and common aspiration.

The cultural diversity is typified by the existence of eight major indigenous languages, although English remains the official language of commerce. The cultural similarities are indicated by the importance of traditional extended family and clan systems found on each island.

Each of the State has developed unique cultural characteristics which are important to the potential outsiders especially those interested in visiting or investing in the islands. In Kosrae State, the Congregational Church plays an extremely important role in everyday life while in Chuuk, clan relationships remain an important factor. Yap continues as the most traditional society in the FSM with a strong caste system.

Over the last 15 years Pohnpei has rapidly developed as the most westernized state in the nation. This results in large part because the national government is located here. At the same time, traditional leadership continues to play an important role.

Over much of the last 40 years, the growth rate of population in the FSM has exceeded 3% per annum and the current rate of national increase remains high. However, since the Compact of Free Association was signed out-migration of about 2% of the population occurs each year, effectively lowering the growth rate to about 1%.

The population structure is heavily weighted in favor of the youth, and it is expected that the 15-24 age group will account for 50% of the population increase in this decade.


The people of the FSM are culturally and linguistically Micronesian, with a small number of Polynesians living primarily on Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi atolls of Pohnpei State. The influence of European and Japanese contacts is also seen.

It can be said that each of the four States exhibits its own distinct culture and tradition, but there are also common cultural and economic bonds that are centuries old. For example, cultural similarities are evidenced in the importance of the traditional extended family and clan systems found on each island.

Although united as a country, the people are actually a heterogeneous mixture with different customs and traditions bound together by recent history and common aspirations. The cultural diversity is typified by the existence of eight major indigenous languages, and its peoples continue to maintain strong traditions, folklore and legends.

The four states of the FSM are separated by large expanses of water. Prior to Western contact, this isolation led to the development of unique traditions, customs and language on each of the islands.

English is the official language, and there are eight major indigenous languages of the Malayo-Polynesian linguistic family spoken in the FSM: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi.

There is a rich oral history. Part of this history is a unique musical heritage. The traditional music is carried forward from generation to generation, although upon tuning into the local radio station the visitor is far more likely to hear the distinctive sounds of Micronesian pop music, which has also developed its own character from state to state. Influenced obviously by traditional music, the FSM's pop music also draws from influences as diverse as American country and western, reggae, and modern europop.

The basic subsistence economy is based on cultivation of tree crops (primarily breadfruit, banana, coconut and citrus) and root crops (primarily taro and yam) supplemented by fishing. Small scale agriculture and various traditional fishing practices continue today.

Sharing, communal work, and the offering of tributes to the traditional leaders are fundamental to the subsistence economic system and the culture of the island societies of the FSM. The basic economic unit is the household, which consists primarily of extended families. Larger solitary social groups found on most of the FSM islands are matrilineal clans. Traditional political systems, such as the Nahmwarki Political System on Pohnpei and the Council of Pilung on Yap, continue to play an important role in the lives of the people of the FSM today.


Religion is predominantly Christian, divided between Roman Catholic and Protestant -other churches include Latter-Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventist, Assembly of God, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Baha'i Faith.

Churches of many denominations can be found throughout the islands.

50 percent is Roman Catholic
47 percent is Protestant
3 percent is others:
- Mormons
- Baptist
- Assembly of God
- Seven Day Adventist
- Appostolic Church
- Pentecostal Church
- Jeovah’s Witnesses
- Victory Chapel


The FSM has a rich history dating back several thousand years. The islands were originally settled by ancient people sailing east from Asia and north from Polynesia. Later discoverers and settlers included the Spanish, Germans, and Japanese and evidence of their former presence is found throughout the islands. Following the trusteeship under U.S. administration after W.W. II, the FSM is now independent and self-governing.

Most linguistic and archaeological evidence indicates that the islands were first discovered and settled between two and three thousand years ago. The first settlers are often described as Austronesian speakers possessing horticultural skills and highly sophisticated maritime knowledge. These first settlers are thought to have migrated eastward from Southeast Asia to Yap. From there, some migrated south to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia, and later to Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

The oral histories of the Micronesian people indicate close affiliations and interactions in the past among the members of the island societies comprising the present-day FSM. The Lelu ruins in Kosrae (1400 AD) and the Nan Madol ruins of Pohnpei (1000 AD) are impressive reminders of the accomplishments of these early people.

In 1525, Portuguese navigators in search of the Spice Islands (Indonesia) came upon Yap and Ulithi. Spanish expeditions later made the first European contact with the rest of the Caroline Islands. Spain established its colonial government on Yap and claimed sovereignty over the Caroline Islands until 1899. At that time, Spain withdrew from its Pacific insular areas and sold its interests to Germany, except for Guam which became a U.S. insular area.

German administration encouraged the development of trade and production of copra. In 1914 German administration ended when the Japanese navy took military possession of the Marshall, Caroline and Northern Mariana Islands.

Japan began its formal administration under a League of Nations mandated in 1920. During this period, extensive settlement resulted in a Japanese population of over 100,000 throughout Micronesia. The indigenous population was then about 40,000. Sugar cane, mining, fishing and tropical agriculture became the major industries.

World War II brought an abrupt end to the relative prosperity experienced during Japanese civil administration. By the War's conclusion, most infrastructure had been laid waste by bombing and the islands and people had been exploited by the Japanese Military to the point of impoverishment.

The United Nations created the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947. Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), Kosrae (formerly Kusaie, and at the time a part of Pohnpei), Chuuk (formerly Truk), Yap, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, together constituted the TTPI. The United States accepted the role of Trustee of this, the only United Nations Trusteeship to be designated as a "Security Trusteeship," whose ultimate disposition was to be determined by the UN Security Council. As Trustee, the U.S. was to "promote the economic advancement and self-sufficiency of the inhabitants."

The President of the U.S. appointed a High Commissioner of the TTPI, and he, in turn, appointed an administrator for each of the "Districts" mentioned above. The TTPI remained under the civil administration of the U.S. Navy Department until 1951, when authority passed to the Department of the Interior.

On July 12, 1978, following a Constitutional Convention, the people of four of the former Districts of the Trust Territory, Truk (now Chuuk), Yap, Ponape (now Pohnpei) and Kusaie (now Kosrae) voted in a referendum to form a Federation under the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). United Nations observers certified this referendum as a legitimate act of self- determination. Thereby, the people reasserted their inherent sovereignty which had remained dormant but intact, throughout the years of stewardship by the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Upon implementation of the FSM Constitution on May 10, 1979, the former Districts became States of the Federation, and in due course adopted their own State constitutions. Nationwide democratic elections were held to elect officials of the National and four State governments. The Honorable Tosiwo Nakayama, the former President of the Congress of Micronesia, became the first President of the FSM and formed his Cabinet. The new Congress of the FSM convened, elected the Honorable Bethwel Henry as Speaker, and began to enact laws for the new Nation. A judicial system was established pursuant to the National and State constitutions. Thereupon, the United States entered upon a period (1979 86) of orderly transfer of governmental functions consistent with the terms and intent of the UN Trusteeship Agreement.

Upon implementation of the FSM Constitution, the U.S. recognized the establishment of the FSM national and state governments. The FSM, the republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau each negotiated a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The Compact was signed on October 1, 1982 and approved by voters in the FSM in 1983. After approval by the U.S. Congress, the Compact entered into force on November 3, 1986. On September 17, 1991, the FSM became a member of the United Nations.


The FSM Constitution, like that of the U.S., provides for three separate branches of government at the national level - Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It contains a Declaration of Rights similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights, specifying basic standards of human rights consistent with international norms. It also contains a provision protecting traditional rights. Unlike the U.S. system, however, most major governmental functions, other than the conduct of foreign affairs and defense are carried out by the State governments.

The Congress of the FSM is unicameral with fourteen Senators - one from each state elected for a four-year term, and ten who serve two-year terms, whose seats are apportioned by population. Currently, Chuuk has six seats, Pohnpei four and two each are held by Yap and Kosrae. The President and Vice President are elected to four-year terms by the Congress, from among the four year Senators, and the vacant seats are then filled in special elections.

The Judicial Branch of the National Government is headed by the FSM Supreme Court, currently comprised of three Justices who sit in trial and appellate Divisions. At this time there are no other National courts. Justices are nominated by the President for a lifetime appointment and confirmed by the Congress.

The State Governments under their Constitutions are structurally similar, all utilizing three branches, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Their makeups vary according to their different circumstances.

FSM Visitors Board
PO Box PS-12 Palikir, Pohnpei FSM 96941
Tel: +691 - 320 - 5133 Fax: +691 - 320 - 3251
E-mail: [email protected]

Copyright © 2012 Federated States of Micronesia Visitors Board. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Relations With the Federated States of Micronesia

Following World War II, the islands of what is now the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) became part of the United Nations strategic trust territory, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administrative control of the United States. The FSM became independent in 1986, with the entry into force of the Compact of Free Association with the United States that included 15 years of substantial development aid. An Amended Compact entered into force in 2004 containing an additional 20 years of financial assistance, but the relationship of free association continues indefinitely.

The FSM is a sovereign nation. The United States and the FSM have full diplomatic relations and maintain deep ties and a cooperative relationship. While the government is free to conduct its own foreign relations, it does so under the terms of the amended Compact. Under the amended Compact, the United States has full authority and responsibility for the defense and security of the FSM. Eligible FSM citizens are allowed to live, work, and study in the United States without visas. FSM citizens volunteer to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at per capita rates higher than most U.S. states

U.S. Assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia

Pursuant to the amended Compact, the U.S. Government provides economic and program assistance. The United States provides over $110 million in assistance every year, along with a variety of federal grants and services, until FY2023, including progressive dedication of a portion of the annual assistance to a jointly managed trust fund. The assistance provisions are aimed to assist the FSM on its path to economic advancement self-sufficiency post 2023. The governments of the United States and the FSM established a Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO), consisting of representatives of both nations, which is responsible for ensuring that assistance funds are focused effectively and properly accounted for, with the aim of fostering good governance and economic self-reliance. Grant assistance under the amended Compact focuses on six sectors: education, health, infrastructure, public sector capacity building, private sector development, and the environment. The JEMCO identified an additional sector for U.S. grant assistance: enhanced reporting and accountability. Amended Compact grants are primarily funded through and administered by the Department of the Interior.

Reflecting the strong legacy of trusteeship cooperation, many U.S. federal agencies operate programs in the FSM. These include the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Postal Service, Small Business Administration, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Department of State, and the Department of the Interior.

The FSM is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and the potential effects of climate change. U.S. assistance also focuses on strengthening FSM’s climate resilience through disaster management.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The FSM’s national government plays a central role in the economy as the recipient and distributor of amended Compact funds to the states. Subsistence farming occupies half of the adult population. Of the adults working in the cash economy, more than half are employed in the public sector, earning 58% of total national wages. Unemployment is 16%. The United States is FSM’s largest trade partner. Total exports were only 24% of imports in 2016, with the trade deficit roughly equal to all of the aid provided by the U.S., China, Japan and Australia. Almost 8,000 U.S. citizens visited FSM in 2016.

FSM’s Membership in International and Regional Organizations

The FSM and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. The Federated States of Micronesia was admitted to the United Nations on September 17, 1991. Outside the region, FSM is a member or participant of the ACP (Cotonou Agreement), the Alliance of Small Island States, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the G-77, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the International Olympic Committee, the ITU, the NAM and the World Meteorological Organization.

FSM is a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the Pacific Community (SPC). The FSM also is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the headquarters of which are located in the FSM. In addition, the FSM is one of the eight signatories of the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest that collectively controls 25-30% of the world’s tuna supply and approximately 60% of the western and central Pacific tuna supply.

Bilateral Representation

Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Micronesia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1725 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 tel: 202-223-4383. The FSM Ambassador to the United States is Akillino Susaia.

Chamorros under German, Japanese and US rule

The lack-luster German administration of the Northern Marianas was cut short by World War I. When England declared war on Germany in 1914 and requested its ally Japan to use its navy against German shipping and military outposts in the Pacific, Japan saw an opportunity to vastly expand its Pacific empire at little cost. The Japanese Imperial Navy quickly captured not only the German naval base at Tsingtao, China (now Kiautschou Bay), but also the German Mariana and Caroline islands. All German citizens were gathered and deported to prisoner of war camps in Japan. The Northern Marianas Chamorros and Carolinians quickly found themselves studying the Japanese language and law.

Suddenly, just as Commander Bradford had feared in 1898, a commercial rival had gained control of Micronesia in 1914, surrounding Guam and crossing America’s line of communications to the Philippines territory. All was not necessarily lost, however. Japan announced that its intentions were perfectly honorable and in keeping with its alliance with Great Britain. Japanese Prime Minister Count Shigenobu Okuma addressed a telegram to The Independent stating, as premier, that Japan had “no desire to secure more territory, no thought of depriving China or any other peoples of anything which they now possess.”

In January 1918 the General Board of the US Navy recommended acquisitions in the Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas:

“The Marianas were of outstanding importance, because of their proximity to Japan and to the American island [Guam]. Their position in the immediate vicinity of Guam is capable of development into submarine bases within supporting distance of Japan, and, in the event of war, this would make their continued possession by that country a perpetual menace to Guam, and to any fleet operations undertaken for the relief of the Philippines.”

At the end of the World War I, President Woodrow Wilson personally drafted the Versailles Peace Treaty, especially the section creating the League of Nations. However, because of partisan party politics, the Republican controlled US Senate, led by Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Henry Cabot Lodge, rejected the peace treaty. Therefore, the United States did not become a member of the League of Nations. When Great Britain, France, Russia, and Italy subsequently kept their secret pledges to Japan in February 1919, the League awarded a Class C Mandate over German Micronesia to Japan—over President Wilson’s objections. As non-members, America had no voice in the League of Nations.

The US Navy had been quite vociferous about the need to prevent Japan from taking the Marianas. But some important questions should be considered: Could the combined US Fleet have forced the issue? When the Senate failed to ratify the treaty, it had no obligation to the ill-fated organization. Could the same “gunboat diplomacy” wielded by Perry and Roosevelt have produced a split-mandate over Micronesia, with the US taking the Marianas and Japan the rest of German Micronesia? Did America’s failure to ratify the treaty and become a member of the League of Nations doom Japan and the US to a war for control of the Pacific? If the Marianas and Philippines had been fortified, might Japan have decided to choose war with Russia, their age-old enemy in Asia, rather than the US?

As Bradford had feared in 1898 and the General Board in 1918, Japan eventually became less friendly. Japan walked out of the League of Nations in 1933 after a censure vote for their invasion of the Chinese province of Manchuria in 1931, and allowed the last of its treaties with the US to expire in 1936. The Japanese Navy established a base in the natural harbor at Tanapag, Saipan, with supporting airbases on the natural limestone plateaus at As Lito, Saipan, and Hagoi, Tinian. Then, on 8 December 1941, Japanese aircraft from Saipan strafed and bombed Guam in preparation for a December 10 invasion. Thus, Japan reunified the Marianas by force of arms, and the Guam Chamorros soon found themselves studying Japanese language, law and customs.

Japanese naval planners anticipated the problems of establishing a government on Guam, including managing the island’s infrastructure—in particular the power plant, the water system and the communications system—and beginning the assimilation of the Guam Chamorros into the Japanese way of life, just as they had done with Northern Marianas Chamorros. Guam’s public works systems had been constructed by US Navy contractors and were being operated by US Navy military personnel and Chamorro civilian personnel. The obvious solution was to replace the US navy operators with Japanese operators and bring loyal Chamorro-Japanese from the NMI to translate for the Guam Chamorro civilians until they could learn Japanese.

The Chamorros on Saipan, Tinian and Rota who were chosen for these jobs had worked their way up the Japanese civil service ladder to become technicians and police officers since 1914. They had been born and raised during the Japanese administration and wore their uniforms proudly. Because of the lack of private economic development on Guam, many Guamanians had moved to the Northern Marianas after 1922 to take advantage of the bustling Japanese economy there. The Japanese tried to convince the Chamorros that they were better off with the Japanese and predicted that the Americans would never fight for Asia.

In 1936, the US Congress adopted the Philippine Independence Bill, granting independence to the Territory of the Philippines 10 years hence. Following this legislation, the US made little or no effort to develop Guam. Meanwhile the Chamorros in the north were enjoying a much higher standard of living than their counterparts on Guam. Japanese administrators in the Northern Marianas again tried to convince the Chamorros that the Americans would eventually abandon the Marianas. By all outward appearances, the Japanese could demonstrate that they had done a better job of managing the Northern Mariana Islands than the US Navy had done managing Guam. It is no wonder then that when the Chamorro Police from the NMI arrived on Guam, they encouraged their Guam counterparts that it was best to learn how to deal with the Japanese, rather than resist assimilation.

The vast majority of NMI Chamorros who were sent to Guam to work for the Japanese administration were not police officers. Chamorro police were, in fact, only a small handful of the total. The larger number were civil service employees or employees of the Nippon Kokan K. K. (NKK), the company contracted to manage public utilities and economic development. Many of these northern Marianas Chamorros had relatives on Guam. Many were very sympathetic with the Guam Chamorros, providing them with secret information and food.

Yet, it is true that some of the NMI translators, particularly zealous police officers, informed on loyal Chamorro-Americans who were hiding flags or radios. Some Guam Chamorros were executed. Many were beaten. Even at the time of the reunification plebiscite in 1969, twenty-four years after war’s end, many bitter feelings remained. It was undoubtedly a factor in the final vote. (On a similar note, today’s Northern Marianas Chamorro tell stories about how some Guam Chamorros betrayed their roots and “sold their souls” to the Spanish conquest for blood money and prestige, particularly during the last stand at Aguiguan in 1695.)

Operation Forager, the Campaign for the Mariana Islands in June and August 1944, equally destroyed Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam. Out of the ashes, the US Navy reestablished its naval base in Apra Harbor and established advance naval and air bases on Saipan and Tinian. Guam returned to its prewar status as a US Territory, and the Guam Chamorros began campaigning for self-government and US citizenship. The Chamorros on Saipan began learning the English language, the principles of American democracy, and the workings of modern self-government. The American military established a rudimentary local government in Saipan, via elections.

After the battle ended, the people of the Northern Marianas were amazed at the massive military buildup on Tinian and Saipan. They thought the Japanese had been economically powerful, but the Seabee construction followed by the US Army-Air Force buildup was awe-inspiring. And, much to their relief, the Americans were not the animals portrayed by the Japanese, but some were rather hospitable and generous, especially after the Japanese defeat in September 1945.

Explore: Federated States of Micronesia

Crime levels are low. Most crime in the FSM is petty theft motivated by opportunity and impulse. There have been reported incidents of sexual assaults. Visitors should be vigilant, especially when alone.

Unexploded ordinance from World War II remains in some areas. It is dangerous, as well as illegal, to remove “souvenirs” from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft.

For travel advisories, see the following websites:

  • UK –www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
  • USA –https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html
  • Canada –www.voyage.gc.ca
  • New Zealand –www.safetravel.govt.nz
  • Australiawww.smartraveller.gov.au

Specific Areas of Concern:

Crime rates are significantly higher in Chuuk than in the other states.

Some incidents of petty or opportunistic theft, but very few serious crimes against yachts have ever been reported.


Chuuk Lagoon photo courtesy of Ashley Thorington-Shippey

The islands are under the influence of the NE trade winds, which blow between October and May. January to March is the dry season, while rainfall can be heavy in the summer months. The SW monsoon lasts from June to September, when there are frequent periods of calm. Strong SW gales can occur during August and September. They appear to be caused by the typhoons which are bred in this region but usually move away from the islands. Occasionally the islands are affected by typhoons. Although typhoons can occur at any time of the year, the period 1 December to 30 April may be regarded as relatively safe. In some years, the typhoon season may start early, or last longer than usual, so the weather should be watched carefully at all times. Guam has the best forecasts for the area. (Thanks to Ashley Thorington-Shippey for this great photo taken from Chuuk).

Federated States of Micronesia Weather Forecast

The Pacific Region of the National Weather Service administers forecasts for FSM.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

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Historical Background: Colonization of Pacific Islands

Micronesia includes the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau (Belau), the U. S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. Historically, Micronesians descended from seafarers who populated the island atolls between 2000 BC and 500 BC. Since the first contact with Westerners, starting with the Portuguese and Spanish explorers, the islands have been colonized by various European and Asian countries. For example, Pohnpei, an island state of the Federated States of Micronesia, was first “discovered” in 1526 when the Spaniards named it the “New Phillippines”. Spain later “claimed sovereignty” over most of Micronesia. Germany was the official colonizer for one year before Spain formally occupied Pohnpei in 1866. Germany “bought” the island from Spain in 1899 after the conclusion of the Spanish American War. Japan annexed the island in 1914 and Pohnpei became a US territory after the defeat of the Japanese empire during World War II.

In 1979, Pohnpei joined three other island states to become the Federated States of Micronesia. The country has had a compact of free association with the US since 1982 (Ashby, 1993). A similar political history occurred for the Republic of Palau. Palau was “discovered” in 1710 by Spain. It too was sold to the Germans, annexed by Japan and later became part of the US-managed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands after World War II. Independence came to Palau in 1994 and it has had a compact of free association with the US since 1994 (Barbour, 1995).

The island of Guam, also a part of Micronesia, was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later and today remains, along with Saipan and other neighboring islands, an unincorporated US territory. In the 2000 Census, 37% of the Guam population is native Chamorro (Central Intelligence Agency, Accessed September 2, 2007).

A sad legacy of World War II is the nuclear weapons testing that occurred in the Marshall Islands starting in 1946. Whole atolls were destroyed or made uninhabitable, populations moved away from their ancestral homelands, and ways of life were changed as the people were involuntarily exposed to radiation. Residual effects initially included radiation sickness, but later increased rates thyroid cancer as well as lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia and lymphoma (Anderson et al., 2006). Today, these island nations struggle with the legacy of the colonization and westernization of their island homelands. Social structures and ways of life are changing and diseases associated with western lifestyles such as obesity, coronary artery disease and substance abuse are having devastating effects (Kermode & Tellei, 2005).


The Polynesia triangular region stretches from Fiji and Tonga to the west, Easter Island to the east, Hawaii to the North and New Zealand to the south. Samoans are the largest population of Polynesians in the US after Native Hawaiians. The Samoan islands were populated more than 2,000 years ago and subsequent migrations settled the rest of Polynesia further to the east. Contact with Europeans began in the early 1700s but did not intensify until the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s. At the turn of the 20th century, the Samoan islands were split into two sections. The eastern islands became territories of the United States in 1904 and today are known as American Samoa. The western islands became known as Western Samoa (now the Independent State of Samoa), passing from Germany to New Zealand in 1914. The New Zealand government administered Western Samoa under the auspices of the League of Nations and then as a UN trusteeship until independence in 1962. Western Samoa was the first Pacific Island country to gain its independence (US Department of State, Accessed September 2, 2007).


Tonga was settled about 500 BC. The Dutch explorers visited in 1643 after the islands were sighted in 1616. By 1845, all of the Tongan islands had been united by ancestors of the current dynasty. Under British protection by 1900, Tonga retained its independence and autonomy and became fully independent in 1970 (US Department of State, Accessed September 2, 2007).

Fiji was settled by both Polynesian and Melanesian people around 1500 BC. Europeans arrived in the early 1800s and Fiji was ceded to Britain in 1874. Fiji became an independent nation in 1970 and today continues to struggle with the large immigrant population from India who came to Fiji as servants.

The Art of Micronesia

Foreword by Albert J. Simone
Introduction by Leonard Mason
Form and Function in the Art of Micronesia by Jerome Feldman
Beyond Form and Function by Jerome Feldman
Fabric Arts and Traditions by Donald H. Rubinstein
Catalogue of the Exhibition

This book was generously provided by Jerome Feldman, Donald H. Rubinstein, et al.

Statue of a female deity (profile). Images of deities were known as dinonga eidu and were kept in culthouses. Carved wooden images as ritual objects are extremely rare in Micronesia. Country of Origin: Caroline Islands. Culture: Oceanic. Date/Period: 18th -19th C. Place of Origin: Nukuoro island. Material Size: Wood Height 40cm. Credit Line: Werner Forman Archive

Gable Figure (Dilukai) | Late 19th – Early 20th Century | Belau
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, and Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1970 | 1978.412.1558a-d
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York, USA

Statue of a female deity (profile). Images of deities were known as dinonga eidu and were kept in culthouses. Carved wooden images as ritual objects are extremely rare in Micronesia. Country of Origin: Caroline Islands. Culture: Oceanic. Date/Period: 18th -19th C. Place of Origin: Nukuoro island. Material Size: Wood Height 40cm. Credit Line: Werner Forman Archive

Carving of goddess. Kawe de Hine Aligi. | Nukuoro, Caroline Islands | 1970.39, 38740
© Auckland War Memorial Museum | New Zealand

Helmet | Mid 19th Century | Kiribati
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Deity Figure (Sope) | Nukuoro, Caroline Islands
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, digitale Reproduktion: Jester Blank GbR

Wooden Mask | 19th Century | Caroline Islands | 18240 | Gift of William Pepper, 1891
© Penn Museum | Pennsylvania, USA

Lid and Bowl | 18th Century | Palau
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Wooden Mask (tapuanu) | Caroline Islands, Nomoi Islands (Mortlock Islands)
Purchased with funds provided by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation with additional funding by Jane and Terry Semel, the David Bohnett Foundation, Camilla Chandler Frost, Gayle and Edward P. Roski, and The Ahmanson Foundation (M.2008.66.13)
© Los Angeles County Museum of Art | California, USA

Navigation Chart | 19th Century | Marshall Islands
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Woman's Valuable (Toluk) | Late 19th – Early 20th Century | Belau | The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Burnett, 1960 | 1978.412.756
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York, USA

Table | Late 18th Century - Mid 19th Century | Palau
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Necklace | 19th Century | Marshall Islands
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Table | Late 18th Century - Mid 19th Century | Palau
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Photographic print | Micronesia | Printed by J Paine Photo | 1880 - 1900 | Yap
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Photographic print | Micronesia | Printed by J Paine Photo | 1884 | Yap
© The British Museum | United Kingdom

Jerome Feldman

Jerome Feldman is a Professor of art history at Hawaiʻi Pacific University in Honolulu and lectures at the Department of Art and Art History at Mānoa during Summer sessions. His specialization is in the arts of Tribal Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Feldman has conducted field studies in remote islands of Indonesia, and Polynesia. He has written many articles and books, has studied museum collections in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and America and has aided in several important exhibitions including The Eloquent Dead at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Nias Tribal Treasures at the Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara in Delft, and Beyond the Java Sea, a Smithsonian sponsored traveling exhibition. In fall 2004 he was the Slade Visiting Professor at Kings College, Cambridge University, England.

PhD | Columbia University
M.A. | University of Hawai’i at Manoa
B.A. | City University of New York

Research Highlights

• “The Great Chief’s House at Baruyulasara, Pulau Tello, the Batu Islands, Indonesia” in Lehner, E., I. Doubrawa, Ikaputra. Insular Diversity Architecture, Culture, Identity in Indonesia, Vienna Institute for Comparative Research in Architecture, 2013: 119-128.
• “Art-Southeast Asia,” in Mcneill et al. Art in World History, Great Barrington: Berkshire Pub.: 130-135.
• With Gruber, P., M. Melcher, J Kurt-Nielsen, “Replacement of Tradition- Comparative View of the Architectural Development of the Village of Hilimondregeraya in Nias, Indonesia,” Cultural Heritage and New Technologies, 14th Congress . eBook edition, Vienna: 2010.


The insidious plan was in motion. The Tribal Council stage was set. All that remained was the final act and to see if Erik would actually go ahead and hand over his immunity necklace. Each of the women had assigned roles to play to ensure that he did.

ELIZA ORLINS [juror]: I walked into Tribal Council with the jury thinking that Erik was definitely going to be voted out unless he won immunity. So we walk in and we see that he has immunity, and that means one of the girls is going to get voted out. So now I’m thinking that it was definitely going to be Natalie, and feeling kind of disappointed because the girls had really been playing a great game. But I looked over and there was a twinkle in Cirie’s eye, and she kind of gave me a wink. I was like, 𠇌irie has something up her sleeve.”

CIRIE FIELDS: I wanted Amanda and Parvati to just lambast Erik. I wanted them to say, in front of the jury, how terrible he was, and how he seems innocent but he’s running around trying to play all of us, telling all of us the same thing, how he turned on Natalie, how he didn’t take her on reward. I wanted Erik to think that he was mud in the jury’s eyes, because that would play right into what I’ve been telling him the whole time. That would just validate everything that we were saying, and push him further to my side of the redemption thought process in giving up the necklace and saving Natalie. “Look, everybody hates you! Amanda can’t stand you. Parvati’s telling the jury how terrible you are. You’re never gonna win this thing, not like this. You’ve got mud all over you. You’ve got to clean yourself up.”

JEFF PROBST [host, executive producer]: The conversations that happened on the beach before Tribal and then carried through into Tribal, if you watch them together, that is a master class in persuasion. It’s one of the most fundamental skills required to play Survivor, the ability to persuade somebody to do something. There are two big categories of persuasion: You can charm, or you can put the fear of consequence in somebody, and they did both.

AMANDA KIMMEL: We had to really play this out until the very end because even though you’ve done all this work before, it’s so different when you get Tribal Council. So I really wanted to carry the energy into Tribal, because if I don’t, there’s a slim chance that this was maybe going to happen.

PARVATI SHALLOW: My role was to be the bully. I took on that role because that’s already what Erik expected of me. He didn’t like me very much. And I thought, “You know, he thinks I’ve already betrayed a bunch of people, so he’s going to anticipate me being a bad guy. And I’m going to do that. I’m going to just bully him and then see how that works.” Amanda was good cop, I was bad cop, Natalie was the one who was the underdog who needed Erik’s help, and then Cirie was this motherly, nurturing, you-can-trust-me figure.

JEFF PROBST: It’s one of the most remarkable team efforts. Everyone had a role, and everyone delivered. It was like a bank heist. Everybody has to be on point. If one person is off, it’s over. If the getaway driver forgets to put gas in the car, you’re screwed. But everybody was right. And it truly is one of the greatest displays ever, because you watch what a beautiful combination of charm and consequence can do.

NATALIE BOLTON: I’ve got to say, those girls stepped up. I was kind of shocked with the attack by Amanda and Parv. They just went at him, and it was so good. And he was receptive and tender enough at that point for that to really, unfortunately, make an impact on him. And then Cirie peppered in the talk about needing redemption and it became this whole like murky what’s happening right now?! But I got to say, those three girls really showed up for me in that Tribal Council. And my job was to just sit back and let it all unfold the way it was supposed to unfold.

JEFF PROBST: First, Parvati said, “Nobody can trust him. He’s all over the map.” Then Amanda kind of said the same thing. That was predictable. They were gonna give it a shot. But there was a moment where Erik said, “They’re not wrong. I have been doing that.” And that admission in that moment caught my ear in the sense that Erik was actually listening. You didn’t know if he was gonna do it, but he was listening.

ERIK REICHENBACH: Parvati and Amanda had resting b—- face towards me. Tribal Council is almost always jovial, like an awkward jovial atmosphere. This one was cold. It was frozen over with ice, at least for me.

MATT VAN WAGENEN: Truthfully, it felt like they were piling on pretty hard. I was feeling bad for him because he was really looking to clear his name and they were piling on. For lack of a better word, they were mind-f—ing him.

ELIZA ORLINS: I remember that they were being really hard on him, and it did seem kind of performative, but a lot of the things that they did were very calculated, and so I figured this was a show for the jury to potentially earn votes later.

OZZY LUSTH [juror]: I didn’t really get it. It didn’t seem like he had done anything that bad, but for some reason he’s super vulnerable. I think there was a little bit of a delirium happening for him, because his body was eating itself and his mental state was affected by that, and they were able to see that weakness, and really exploit it. And they did a damn good job at it.

ERIK REICHENBACH: I was just playing Survivor, the same as them. It came down to me wanting to feel good. I am influenced by other people. I’m influenced by what other people think of me and especially people that I consider friends. They knew that, and they leveraged that. I really don’t think I did anything outside the norm that would be like a Russell Hantz or a Randy Bailey. There are other people that have done much worse things than me.

CIRIE FIELDS: I’ve done worse than that.

PARVATI SHALLOW: Erik did not do anything wrong. Let’s be 100 percent clear about that. I do not believe that Erik ever did anything wrong. All of it was totally made up.

AMANDA KIMMEL: We’re awful people. I don’t know what to say. It was awful! The stuff you have to do on the show is awful. We basically used the sweet parts of Erik and threw it back at him. He’s such a sweet guy and we just manipulated that part. The stuff you’re capable of, it’s pretty bad.

PARVATI SHALLOW: I could care less if Erik was breaking his word with everyone. It didn’t bother me. What really mattered to me was advancing my game and getting the people that I wanted to get to the end. And I realized the only way for us to do this was for everyone to step into their role that we had all agreed to play and play it to the best of our ability.

ELIZA ORLINS: Watching from the jury, I felt sorry for him. He seemed kind of in over his head with these very adept women. He was the kid from a tiny town in Michigan who had never even left the country before, let alone maybe even the state of Michigan, and he just seemed so in over his head. I just sat there shaking my head, feeling bad for him.

The last question Jeff Probst posed before going to voting was to ask Cirie if it matters if you redeem yourself in this game. It could not have been teed up any better.

CIRIE FIELDS: I remember saying, “Of course, it’s important for redemption!” which, one, I needed Erik to hear. And two, I needed Erik to hear. Because it just validated everything that was going on earlier in the day. Jeff just put so much value into my plan, by saying, “Redemption.” It just so happens you’re talking about redemption, and this is what I’m telling this kid he needs in order to make it to the end and win a million dollars. It was perfect for me.

ERIK REICHENBACH: They were putting a wall on each side of me. The only wiggle way out for me emotionally is to redeem myself by the path they want. So emotionally, they boxed me in. They’ve realized strategically, we might not be able to beat Erik, or in skill challenges, we might not be able to beat Erik. But we can box him emotionally in this way, which I wasn’t aware of until it was too late. It’s like throwing out a line, here’s what you grab on. I think the title of the episode is very apt: “If it Smells Like a Rat, Give it Cheese.” Redemption was the cheese.

CIRIE FIELDS: He didn’t quite understand that the necessity for redemption isn’t really a factor in this game. You redeem yourself when you get a chance to talk at the end. That’s when you do your redeeming. Right now, you just get to the end. When he opened himself to the conversation about redemption, that let me know that there was some wiggle room in there, and some mind games to be played, because, if not, he would’ve just been like, “Yeah, I’ll redeem myself when I talk at the end. No, I’m never gonna give up my necklace.” By him not just shutting it down, it let us know that there was an opening there.

ERIK REICHENBACH: It really is just them ganging up and hammering the iron, hammering the iron until I’m so malleable.

CIRIE FIELDS: Erik is a nice guy, and he didn’t really wanna upset anybody or anything, but by just merely playing the game, you’re gonna upset somebody. I guess his view of the game is go to the end with as many people that like you and support you to win, but it’s not really that all the time. That comes from experience. That comes from being older, living a little more, and playing the game a little more, �use things happen. People will cut your throat and attempt to blindside you, and the next thing you know, you’ll be saving them with your idol.

It was finally time to vote and Probst, as was customary, asked Erik if he would like to keep his necklace or hand his hard-won immunity over to someone else.

ERIK REICHENBACH: When Jeff says, “What do you want to do?” I feel I need to do something at that point. I feel like I need a release. I’m not thinking that there’s only three more days to put up with this I’m thinking that I’m trapped in this moment. The decision was made right then. That was the moment. And I did it. I gave it to Natalie.

JEFF PROBST: As a producer, all you’re thinking is, “I cannot believe this is happening. This is the greatest moment that’s ever happened on Survivor!” And I stood up to start the voting and all I’m thinking is “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. This is happening. This is happening. He’s going to be voted out. He has no idea. How does he not see this?!”

NATALIE BOLTON: It was an out-of-body experience, because he’s taking the necklace off and in no way shape or form should this have ever gone down like this. So he’s taking it off and handing it over to me and I’m putting it on. And I can’t throw too much energy at it because he could have retracted it had I had some sideways reaction. Then I could have tipped him off within that moment of saying, “You know what? Actually, I’m changing my mind.” Because you know how they say not until the ink’s dry on a contract do you believe anything? That’s kind of how it was. I needed it around my neck, latched, and then Jeff to continue talking and say, “We’re starting the voting process. So and so, you’re up.” I needed that segment to close out.

CIRIE FIELDS: Oh my God, when Erik said he was gonna give Natalie the necklace, I didn’t wanna turn around. I wanted to stay laser-focused on whichever direction I was looking, �use I didn’t wanna give him any reason to think, or to look at me, or catch a glance, or anything to make him change his mind, and I almost wanted to stay invisible until the act was over, until she actually had it around her neck, because people say things and change their minds in seconds at Tribal. I’m sitting there. I hear him saying this, but I can’t even breathe until the necklace is firmly placed around Natalie’s neck. I’m just sitting there, like, 𠇍on’t look at me. Don’t ask me no questions, Jeff. I’m not even here. Let the exchange take place.”

PARVATI SHALLOW: Oh my God. Oh my God. I don’t even hear the words, but I see him taking the necklace off of his neck. And I’m like, “No. No way. No. He can’t … It’s not … No way! Oh, my God! Is he for real?” I was just in complete disbelief and shock. And then I watched him hand it over to Natalie and I’m like, “Woooow.” I was overwhelmed with the intensity of shock and disbelief and just like sheer… What?!

AMANDA KIMMEL: I was completely shocked. I couldn’t believe that he actually did it. Because there’s still that part of you that’s like, “No one’s actually going to do this.” But after the shock I was like, “Oh, my gosh! We still have to play this off.”

CIRIE FIELDS: Inside, there’s a party going on, like, “Oh, hell no!” But outside, I’m just trying to remain calm, because I wanted Erik to at least think maybe he didn’t just make the biggest mistake of his life. I had a good angel� angel on my shoulder. The good angel is like, �mn, he actually gave her his immunity. Now, you’re gonna vote him? Shame on you!” But then the other side was like, “Yes, we got him!” I had to contain all of that and just try to look straight ahead so we could get on with the vote. But the jurors are over there already passing out and gasping.

PARVATI SHALLOW: They’re all in total shock. I think Eliza’s mouth is the widest I’ve ever seen her mouth get, and she’s known for large facial expressions. Watching the jury’s reaction, I’m like, “Oh man. We got a live one. We did real good.”

OZZY LUSTH: I just was thinking: You’re a f—ing idiot!

ELIZA ORLINS: My mouth just dropped open at that point. I completely cannot believe that he has just gotten himself voted out of the game.

Watch the video: Travel TV - Yap Day - A Cultural Highlight On The Micronesian Island of Yap (July 2022).


  1. Erasmo

    It is agreeable, the admirable thought

  2. Halebeorht

    Incomparable answer)

  3. Rydge

    Frankly speaking, you are completely straight.

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