The Federated States of Micronesia they are an ideal destination for those seeking to come into contact with an extraordinary culture. Despite not having a great infrastructure, it has idyllic beaches, shipwrecks, fish of all colors and unique archaeological sites, among other attractions.
The Federated States of Micronesia They are located in the Caroline Islands of the Pacific Ocean.approximately 500 kilometers from the Philippines and Indonesia. They are made up of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. These occupy an area of 702 square kilometers and encompass 607 islands.
The Federated States of Micronesia are often referred to as Micronesia only. This leads to confusion, as these are located in the geographic region of Micronesia, along with other countries such as New Guinea, Guam, Mariana Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Philippines.
Within the cultural traits, expressly matriarchal clan systems stand out.. They are characterized by large families that even geographically cover several islands, and where the deep value of traditions is lived.
The Federated States of Micronesia
Each of the states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia has its own traditions and culture. It is precisely this culture and its shared history that serves as glue to keep the four united states in one country.
The State of Yap, located in the west of the country, is the one that best preserves its current ancestral traditions. That is why it is fascinating to tour its towns to come into contact with an amazing and unique culture.
For its part, Chuuk State is a paradise for scuba divers due to the multitude of World War II shipwrecks that are housed there. In addition, it has crystal clear waters in which a large number of corals and multicolored fish of many species proliferate.
Meanwhile, the State of Pohnpei is home to the largest island in the country and is where its capital, Palikir, is located. Here the mountains, rivers, waterfalls and a jungle area stand out in which the rains that nourish the fauna and flora of the place abound.
Finally, in the State of Kosrae paradisiacal beaches abound; in several of them all kinds of water sports are practiced. It has an extensive area of mangroves and archaeological ruins without parallel in the world.
Whose States are they?
The States of Micronesia were initially inhabited by Polynesians, more than 4,000 years ago. These flourished and lived in peace until the arrival of European explorers. First it was the Portuguese, who actually sought out the Indonesian islands for their spices.
Later, the Spanish appropriated the islands, around 1526, and later baptized them as the Carolinas Islands. Later, Germany invaded the islands in 1899, which generated moments of tension, until Spain agreed to sell the place to the German country.
Next, it would be the Japanese who would take the islands from the Germans in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. The United States finally seized the islands from Japan in 1947, during World War II, and still maintains its rule over them today.
It was only until 1990 that the States of Micronesia gained recognition by the United Nations and, therefore, an apparent independence. His sovereignty was tied to a series of treaties that they had to sign with the Americans.
An example of this is that in the four states of Micronesia there are no political parties and more than 65% of their economy comes from the “economic assistance” of the North Americans.
Some geography and society
Virtually all of the Federated States of Micronesia are atolls made up of coral reefs. As a whole, they settle on submarine mountain ranges and in innumerable cases they do so on volcanic formations.
The main economic activity of these states comes from agriculture and subsistence fishing. Despite the enormous tourist potential it possesses, it has little infrastructure.
In demographic terms, the population remains stable. Although 3% emigrate for better opportunities, an equivalent percentage of new residents arrive in the country. This portion is basically represented by Americans, Australians and Europeans.
The “official” language is English within the main cities, while local dialects such as Ulithian, Woleaian and Yapese, among others, are spoken in the towns.
A curious fact about Micronesia
One aspect that is particularly striking and that has made the island of Yap very popular is its stone money.. These are huge limestone discs that have a central hole and can reach diameters of up to four meters and weigh several tons.
The smallest pieces have a diameter of 30 centimeters, so their value lies in their size, as well as their history. In the larger ones, what is transferred is the property, so the stone remains in the same place.
Most of these stones come from distant lands such as New Guinea and others from Palau. It is estimated that there are around 6,500, distributed throughout the island of Yap.
culture as foundation
A fundamental aspect in the cultures of the Federated States of Micronesia is music and dance. Among the most traditional dances in the country is the stick dance, in which women, men and children participate. It is a ritual dance in which they confront threats to the community, from this world and beyond, with a stick.
In another dance, only women dance while sitting, which is associated with fertility, while other dances are only practiced by men or children. On the other hand, music is born from nature and serves as an instrument to get in touch with their ancestors, while allowing them to express their emotional universe.
A deeply rooted ancestral tradition is wood carving, which originally had a religious or utilitarian function. Unfortunately, it has been contaminated by the influence of Western culture and its use is limited in many cases to decorative objects and souvenirs.
Basketry is also common, a craft technique with which they make objects of all kinds. These crafts reflect the industriousness and creativity of their authors.
Micronesia and its exuberant nature
The Federated States of Micronesia present an impressive nature, especially due to its geographical position, which is tropical in nature. This sets up an ideal scenario of rainfall and constant temperature throughout the year..
Elevations such as mountains and volcanoes, which rise from the depths of the sea, contribute to the particular characteristics of this region. Likewise, these favor the proliferation of coral banks, together with a numerous and varied fauna and flora. An example of this is the more than 1,300 different species of fish that can be found in the area.