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Micronesia ((UK: /ˌmaɪkrəˈniːziə/, US: /-ˈniːʒə/); 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 close shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Island
Melanesia to the south; as well as the wider Austronesian peoples.

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 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 region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of
Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern
part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Wake Island.

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 Spain
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]

Romanum Island, Chuuk, Micronesia

Caroline Islands
Gilbert Islands
Mariana Islands
Marshall Islands
Wake Island
Climate Map of Micronesia (shown in dark magenta)

Early European contact
Colonisation and conversion
German–Spanish Treaty of 1899
20th century
21st century
States and dependencies
Indigenous groups
Carolinian people
Chamorro people
Chuukese people
Kaping people
Nauruan people
Immigrant groups
Asian people
European people
Animals and food
Music and dance
Religion and mythology
See also
Further reading
External links

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 (Federated States of Micronesia and Palau)

the Gilbert Islands (Republic of Kiribati)
the Mariana Islands (Northern Mariana Islands and Guam)
the Marshall Islands
Micronesia is one of three major cultural
Plus the island country of Nauru. areas in the Pacific Ocean, along with
Polynesia and Melanesia

Caroline Islands
The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago consisting of about 500 small coral islands, north of 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 being
the most eastern and Palau consisting of 250 islands on the western side.

Gilbert Islands
The 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 and the southern Gilbert Islands. The Republic of Kiribati contains all of the Gilberts, as well as the
island of Tarawa, the site of the country's capital.

Mariana Islands
The 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 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 acquired title to Guam under
the Treaty of Paris, 1898, which ended the Spanish–American War. Spain then sold the remaining northerly
islands to Germany in 1899. Germany lost all of her colonies at the end of World War I and the Northern
Mariana Islands became a League of Nations Mandate, with Japan as the mandatory. After World War II, the
Mount Marpi in Saipan.
islands were transferred into the United Nations Trust Territory System, with the United States as Trustee. In
1976, the Northern Mariana Islands and the 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
The Marshall Islands are located north of 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 and
the Ralik Chain (meaning "sunrise" and "sunset" chains). All the islands in the chain are part of the 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 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 Beach scenery at Laura, Majuro,
composed of low coral limestone and sand.[6] The average elevation is only about 2.1 metres (7 ft) above low Marshall Islands
tide level.

Image of the Castle Bravo nuclear An illustration of the Cross Spikes Kili Island is one of the smallest
test, detonated on March 1, 1954, Club[7] of the US Navy on Bikini islands in the Marshall Islands.
at Bikini Atoll Atoll, one of several Marshall
Islands used for atomic bomb

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 third least-populated country, after Vatican City and Tuvalu. 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

and Nibok

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 as depicted by the Aerial view Wake Island, looking
United States Exploring westward
Expedition, drawn by Alfred
Thomas Agate

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 in the Federated States of
Micronesia, which still has the central volcano and coral reefs around it.


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

Spinner Dolphins

The Northern Marianas were the first islands in Oceania colonized by the Austronesian
peoples. It was settled by the voyagers who sailed eastwards from the Philippines at
approximately 1500 BCE. These populations gradually moved southwards until they reached
the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands by 1300 BCE and reconnected with the
Lapita culture of the southeast migration branch of Austronesians moving through coastal
New Guinea and Island Melanesia. By 1200 BCE, they again began crossing open seas
beyond inter-island visibility, reaching Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia; before continuing
Chronological dispersal of Austronesian peoples
eastwards to become the ancestors of the Polynesian people.[11][12][13]
across the Indo-Pacific[11]
Further migrations by other Austronesians also followed, likely from Sulawesi, settling Palau
and Yap by around 1000 BCE. The details of this colonization, however, is not very well
known.[11][12][14] In 200 BCE, a loosely connected group of Lapita colonists from Island Melanesia also migrated back northwards, settling the islands of
eastern Micronesia almost simultaneously. This region became the center of another wave of migrations radiating outwards, reconnecting them with other
settled islands in western Micronesia.[11][12]

At around 800 CE, a second wave of migrants from Southeast Asia arrived in the Marianas, beginning what is now known as the Latte period. These new
settlers built large structures with distinctive capped stone pillars known as haligi. They also reintroduced rice (which did not survive earlier voyages), making
the Northern Marianas the only islands in Oceania where rice was grown prior to European contact. However, they were considered high-status crops and only
used in rituals. They did not become a staple until after Spanish colonization.[13][15][16]

Construction of Nan Madol, a megalithic complex made from basalt lava logs in Pohnpei began at around 1180 CE. This was followed by the construction of
the Leluh complex in Kosrae at around 1200 CE.[12][17][18]
Central Nan Madol (map) Nan Madol Leluh Latte stones Rai stone

Early European contact

The earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521, when a Spanish expedition under Ferdinand Magellan reached the Marianas [19] This contact is
recorded in Antonio Pigafetta's chronicle of Magellan's voyage, in which he recounts that the Chamorro people had no apparent knowledge of people outside
of their island group.[20] A Portuguese account of the same voyage suggests that the 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.[21]

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 atoll for four months and
encountering Yap. Marshall Islanders were encountered by Alvaro de Saavedra in 1529.[22] More certain recorded contact with the Yap islands occurred in

Colonisation and conversion

In the early 17th century Spain colonized Guam, the Northern Marianas and the Caroline Islands (what would later become the Federated States of Micronesia
and the 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 – 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 convert the inhabitants of Melanesia; however, before a cultural contrast can even be made, one cannot neglect to take into account the fact that
Melanesia has always had deadly strains of more malaria present in various degrees and distributions throughout its history {see: De Rays Expedition} and up
to the present; in contrast, Micronesia does not and never seems to have had any malarial mosquitos nor pathogens on any of its islands in the past.[24]

German–Spanish Treaty of 1899

In the Spanish–American War, Spain lost many of its remaining colonies. In the Pacific, the United States
took possession of the Spanish Philippines and Guam. On January 17, 1899, the United States also took
possession of unclaimed and uninhabited Wake Island. This left 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 indefensible 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 and other possessions to Germany. Under German control,
the islands became a protectorate and were administered from German New Guinea. Nauru had already been
German New Guinea before and
annexed and claimed as a colony by Germany in 1888.
after the German-Spanish treaty of

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

the United States, which took control of Guam following the Spanish–American War of 1898 and claimed Wake Island;
Germany, which took Nauru and bought the Marshall, Caroline and Northern Mariana Islands from Spain; and
the British Empire, which took the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati).
During World War I, Germany's Pacific island territories were seized and became League of Nations
mandates in 1923. Nauru became an Australian mandate, while Germany's other territories in Micronesia
were given as a mandate to Japan and were named the South Pacific Mandate. During World War II, Nauru
was occupied by Japanese troops and was bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. Following
Japan's defeat in World War II its mandate became a United Nations Trusteeship administered by the United
States as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Nauru became independent in 1968.

21st century Map from 1961 of the US Trust

Today, most of Micronesia are independent states, except for the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Territory of the Pacific Islands,
Mariana Islands, Guam and Wake Island, which are U.S. territories. formerly Japan's South Pacific

The Pacific Community (SPC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation whose membership includes both nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean and
their metropolitan powers.

States and dependencies

Population Population
Area Urban Life Literacy Official Main Ethnic
Country (July 2016 density
(km2) population expectancy rate language(s) religion(s) groups
estimate)[25] (/km2)
Roman 6.2%,
Catholic 50%, Yapese
104,937 702 152.641 22% 71.23 89% English Protestant 5.2%, Yap
States of
47%, others outer
3% islands
4.5%, Asian
1.5%, other
English Roman 26.3%,
38.3%, Catholic 85%, other
162,896 1,478 122.371 93% 78.18 99% Chamorro Buddhism 3.6, Pacific
other religion islander
States) 22.2%[26]
11.4% 11.3%,
white 6.9%,
other 8.6%,
mixed 9.8%
English, Roman
114,395 811 122.666 44% 64.03 92% Gilbertese Catholic 55%,
Kiribati 98.8%
(de facto) Protestant 36%
Protestant 92.1%,
54.8%, other mixed
Marshall 53,066 181 363.862 71% 71.48 93.7% 98.2%,
Christian Marshallese
Islands English
40.6% 5.9%, other
Church 35.4%,
58%, other
33.2%, Nauru
11,347 21 441.286 100% 64.99 99%[27] Nauruanf[›] Independent
(Protestant)[28] European
10.4%, Baha'i 8%
faith 10%,
Buddhism 9%
Northern English, Roman Pacific
Mariana Chamorro Catholic, islander
55,023 464 104.131 91% 76.9 97%
Islands and Buddhism 36.3%,
(United Carolinian[29] 10.6% White 1.8%,
States) other 0.8%,
mixed 4.8%
Roman Chinese
Paluan Catholic 4.9%, other
Palau 21,503 459 45.488 81% 71.51 92% 64.7%d[›], 41.6%, Asian 2.4%,
English Protestant white 1.9%,
23.3% Carolinian
1.4%, other
1.1%, other
Total 523,167 4,116 193.206 71.71% 71.19 94.93%
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 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 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 Pohnpei. 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.

The people today form many ethnicities, but all are 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 and Filipinos. Because of this mixture of descent, many of the ethnicities of
Micronesia feel closer to some groups in Melanesia, or the Philippines. A good example of this are the Yapese people who are related to Austronesian tribes in
the Northern Philippines.[30] A 2011 survey found that 93.1% of Micronesian are Christians.[31]

There are also substantial Asian communities found across the region, most notably in the Northern Mariana Islands where they form the majority and smaller
communities of Europeans who have migrated from the 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 have a
unique experience that sets them apart from the rest of the Pacific. Micronesia has great economic dependency on its former or current motherlands,
something only comparable to the French Pacific. Sometimes, the term American Micronesia is used to acknowledge the difference in cultural heritage.[32]

Indigenous groups

Carolinian people
It is thought that ancestors of the Carolinian people may have originally immigrated from the Asian mainland and Indonesia to 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 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
The Chamorro people are the indigenous peoples of the Mariana Islands, which are politically divided between the
United States territory of Guam and the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia.
The Chamorro are commonly believed to have come from Southeast Asia at around 2000 BC. They are most closely
related to other Austronesian natives to the west in the Philippines and Taiwan, as well as the Carolines to the south.

The Chamorro language is included in the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian family. Because Guam
was colonized by Spain for over 300 years, many words derive from the Spanish language. The traditional Chamorro
number system was replaced by Spanish numbers.[33]

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. Chamorro people in 1915
Kaping people
The roughly 3000 residents of the 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 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 language. The children typically attend high school on 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 inhabiting the Pacific island of Nauru. They are most likely a blend of other Pacific peoples.[34]

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 or Melanesians, which established themselves there because there was not already an indigenous people
present, whereas the Micronesians were already crossed with the Melanesians in this area.

Immigrant groups

Asian people
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.[35] According to the 2010 census results Guam was 26.3% Filipino, 2.2% Korean, 1.6% Chinese and 2%
other Asian.[36] The 2010 census showed the 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).[37] The 2010 census for the Federated States of Micronesia showed 1.4% were Asian while statistics for
Nauru showed 8% of Nauruans were Chinese.[38][39] The 2005 census results for Palau showed 16.3% were Filipino, 1.6% Chinese, 1.6% Vietnamese and
3.4% other Asian (mostly Bangladeshi, Japanese and Korean).[40]

Japanese rule in Micronesia also led to Japanese people settling the islands and marrying native spouses. Kessai Note, the former president of the Marshall
Islands has partial Japanese ancestry by way of his paternal grandfather, and Emanuel Mori, the former president of The Federated States of Micronesia, is
descended from one of the first settlers from Japan, Koben Mori.

European people
The 2010 census results of Guam showed 7.1% were white while the 2005 census for Palau showed 8%
were European. Smaller numbers at 1.9% in Palau and 1.8% in the 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.

The largest group of languages spoken in Micronesia are the Micronesian languages. They are in the
family of Oceanic languages, part of the Austronesian language group. They are descended from the
protolanguage Proto-Oceanic, which are developed from Proto-Austronesian.
Languages of Micronesia.

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.

On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi represent an extreme westward extension of

There are two languages spoken that do not belong to the Oceanic languages: Chamorro in the Mariana Islands and Palauan in Palau.


Animals and food

By the time Western contact occurred, although Palau did not have dogs, they did have fowls and maybe also pigs. Nowhere else in 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.[41] The people of Palau, the Marianas and Yap often chew betel nuts seasoned with lime and pepper leaf. Western Micronesia was unaware of the
ceremonial drink, which was called saka on Kosrae and sakau on Pohnpei.[14]

The book Prehistoric Architecture in 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".[42] The archeological traditions of the
Yapese people remained relatively unchanged even after the first European contact with the region during Magellan's 1520s circumnavigation of the globe.[14]

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. [43] This was mostly to make the best possible use of what few natural materials they had available to them.[44]

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 towards the end of the 20th century.[45]

The cuisine of the Mariana Islands is tropical in nature, including such dishes as 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.

The educational systems in the nations of 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 is a partnership of the University of
Hawaii, American Samoa Community College, College of Micronesia, Northern Marianas College and the University of Guam.

In the Federated States of Micronesia, education is required for citizens aged 6 to 13,[46] and is important to their economy.[47] The literacy rate for citizens
aged 15 to 24 is 98.8%.[48] 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 islands.[49][50]

The public education in Guam is organized by the Guam Department of Education. Guam also has several educational institutions, such as University of
Guam, Pacific Islands University and Guam Community College, There is also the Guam Public Library System and the Umatac Outdoor Library.

Weriyeng[51] is one of the last two schools of traditional navigation found in the central Caroline Islands in Micronesia, the other being Fanur.[52]

The Northern Marianas College is a two-year community college located in the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The College of the Marshall Islands is a community college in the Marshall Islands.

Understanding Law in 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 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". [53]

The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trusteeship administered by the United States, borrowed heavily from 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 when the Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing in 1979.[54]
In September 2007, journalists in the region founded the Micronesian Media Association.[55]

Music and dance

Micronesian music is influential to those living in the Micronesian islands.[56] 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.[57] 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 and from other areas of the world, is played on radio stations in Micronesia.[56]

The region is home to the Micronesian Games,[58] a quadrennial international multi-sport event involving all Micronesia's countries and territories except
Wake Island.

Nauru has two national sports, weightlifting and Australian rules football.[59] According to 2007 Australian Football League International Census figures,
there are around 180 players in the Nauru senior competition and 500 players in the junior competition,[60] representing an overall participation rate of over
30% for the country.

Religion and mythology

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, Nauruan and Kiribati traditions.

See also
Flags of Oceania


1. Kirch 2001, p. 167.
2. Rainbird 2004, p. 6.
3. Kirch 2001, p. 165.
4. "Geography" ( Archived from
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5. "Bikini Atoll Reference Facts" ( Retrieved 12 August 2013.
6. "Marshall Islands" (
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8. Central Intelligence Agency (2011). "Nauru" (
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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 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
Kirch, Patrick Vinton (2000). On the Road of the Winds. An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact (https://b
+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 (http
+to+Interpretations&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KgloUbO7MYSLjALnpYHwBw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
ISBN 0313291039

External links
History of Micronesia (
Micronesian Games (

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