The Micronesian islands' indigenous cultures – Marianas Variety

ISLAND culture is crucial to the well-being of the indigenous community. Islanders, especially the youth, should take pride in their indigenous background and history.

But Micronesian cultures have also managed to evolve through the islanders’ journeys across the Pacific Ocean.

Our ancestors brought with them their beliefs, values, languages and legends. Since then, change has taken place to fit our current lifestyles and meet the demands of the new generation.

Even our diets have changed from taro and fresh fish to instant, canned and pre-cooked food products.

Historically, there were no indigenous mammals in the Pacific islands during the Pleistocene except for some bats and rats in the western islands.

Research by Michiko Intoh of the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka and Nobuo Shigehara of the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, indicated that when Austronesian-speaking populations dispersed into the Pacific around 3000 BC, a set of domesticated animals — pigs, dogs and chicken — was brought in from Southeast Asia together with various domesticated plants. But the distribution of domesticated animals was not uniform. In Micronesia, no pigs were reported except in Palau, and dogs were recorded only in eastern Micronesia at the time of European contact.

On Fais Island in Micronesia in 1991, Intoh found pottery, metamorphic stones and animal remains. These indicated that Fais has been inhabited by humans since about 40–400 AD.

Researchers said the set of Austronesian domesticates (dogs, pigs and chicken) was identified and must have been put on canoes that crossed the ocean and reached Fais as early as 220 AD.

Today, the tools that can promote and preserve the remaining island indigenous culture include indigenous languages and legends, festivals, traditional homes, story boards, woodwork, canoes, stonework, traditional money, weaving, fishing, farming, taro patch, food, betel nut, traditional dance, and even contemporary art

As a UNESCO representative once noted, cultural diversity plays a vital role in today’s globalized world, and culture remains an essential element of sustainable development.

Source: Google News :

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