Micronesian Culture in Kosrae


Kosrae was originally populated by people sailing ocean going canoes from other parts of the Pacific. By the time the first Europeans landed on Kosrae in 1824, the descendants of these early settlers had evolved a complex feudal society.

The King and royal court lived in Lelu, a small island connected to the main island by a hand made causeway. Lelu was primarily man-made and surrounded by high walls built from volcanic basalt. Today the remnants of these walls are one of the archaeological wonders of the Pacific.

The Kosraean people were well known for the quality of the fabric they wove from banana fiber. Today many excellent weavers carry on this tradition, weaving hats, mats, bags, baskets and wall hangings from pandanus, coconut, hibiscus and other fibers.

Lelu Church

New traditions evolved over time. New England missionaries arrived on Kosrae (via Hawaii) in 1852 and over a period of years successfully converted the majority of Kosraeans to Christianity. Now, Kosrae is one of the most devout and conservative of the Micronesian islands. Kosrae is famous for the choral singing which developed as an off shoot of the Christian conversion.

Today these devout and peaceful people continue their daily lives in much the same manner as their ancestors. Many people continue to prepare food, build houses, farm, fish and carve canoes and other tools as they have for hundreds of years.

Making a Traditional Outrigger Canoe

Canoe building whether it is for ceremonial racing or more utilitarian purposes remains a fixture of Kosraean life.

Outrigger Canoes Are in Common Use

. If you are interested in more information on ancient Kosrae click here
. For more information on traditional skills, click here

Dancers at Kosrae Village

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