The Federated States of Micronesia have Micronesian culture but Polynesian roots as well. As a result of years of colonization, the local culture has influence of Japanese and European influence. However, unique languages, norms and traditions were formed before such elements made their presence felt in the country.
Yap Meeting House
The Falaw or meeting house can be found in every village on the island. Yap is the most culturally intact and westernized island in the Federated States. The Falaw is akin to a public hall where families living on the island come together for recreation and activities. There are many things a Falaw stands for like a port, learning space and workspace. The architecture is beautiful and local materials are used to create these falaws.
Yap Stone Money
The traditional currency on the island of Yap is stone money. It is unique and exists even today. These are carved stones and are a significant part of the Micronesian culture. Stone money is represented on the State Seal and State Flag. The traditional villages and poor villages are the places stone money can be still seen.
Chuuk Devil Mask
The devil mask is a legendary story that originated years ago. The story goes that a legendary ghost lived on the island and stole food from starving people which led to people carving a mask to scare away the ghost. This brought the village together and the ghost was eventually scared away when it saw devil masks all around.
On Yap, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk one can see many island skills. Weaving a mat, building a hut, plating taro, carving a canoe, making ropes from husks, preparing local medicine, scaling a coconut tree are such island skills that remain true to the culture and tradition of the Federated States. These are unique skills used on a daily basis by islanders as part of their life on the island.
The people of Yap are known for their traditional dancing skills. On special occasions or if there is a feast islanders on Yap are known to perform this dance. Everybody will dance as this is a dance that is expected to be known. Parents begin teaching children the Churu as soon as children can begin to follow instructions. This is a dance which has been passed from one generation to the next. Coconut flowers and leaves are used to dress the bodies and coconut oil to give the body a glow. Yap out of the Federated States is best known for maintaining its art and dance the best.