Coordinates : 06°03′N 147°05′E / 6.050°N 147.083°E /
6.050; 147.083 Map of the Federated States of Micronesia. Palau
is to the west of the map. Location of
Mau Piailug (1932–2010) of
Sunset at Colonia on
The CAROLINE ISLANDS (or THE CAROLINES) are a widely scattered
archipelago of tiny islands in the northwestern
Pacific Ocean , to the
New Guinea . Politically they are divided between the
Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and
Palau at the extreme western end. Historically, this area was also
called NUEVAS FILIPINAS or NEW PHILIPPINES as they were part of the
Spanish East Indies and governed from
Manila in the
The Carolines span a distance of approximately 3540 kilometers (2200
miles), from Tobi,
Palau at the westernmost point to
Kosrae at the
* 1 Description
* 2 People and culture
* 3 History
* 3.1 Spanish colony
* 3.2 Japanese colony
* 3.3 Colonial governors or officers
* 4 Ecclesiastical history
* 5 Postage stamps
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 9 Bibliography
* 10 External links
The group consists of about 500 small coral islands , east of the
Philippines , in the Pacific Ocean; the distance from
one of the larger islands of the group, is 1,200 miles (1,900 km).
Most of the islands comprise low, flat coral atolls , but some rise
high above sea level.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Women fishing with nets, Chuuk (1899–1900)
The native inhabitants speak a variety of Micronesian languages
including Pohnpeian , Chuukese , Carolinian , and Kosraean , as well
as the Western Malayo-Polynesian languages Palauan and Chamorro , and
the unclassified language Yapese (possibly one of the Admiralty
Islands languages ). Other significant populations include Filipinos
and Japanese .
The natives live mainly on horticulture and fishing, also
supplementing their diet with many different varieties of bananas and
taro , either of the "swamp" or "purple" varieties. On some islands
housing continues to be built with local materials including coconut
thatch. The language spoken in commerce is English, but there are
several indigenous languages. They traditionally believe in a Supreme
Being (Yalafar) and in a bad spirit (Can), yet they have hardly any
religious rites. Due to extensive missionary work,
Christianity is the
primary religion practiced in this region of
Mau Piailug was from the Carolinian island of
Satawal . He learned the traditional navigation techniques of the
Weriyeng school. These techniques had been preserved while similar
techniques had been forgotten elsewhere partly due to the remoteness
of the Carolinian Islands. In the 1970s Mau shared his knowledge with
Polynesian Voyaging Society which led to a revival of traditional
Polynesian navigation and a new anthropological understanding of the
history of Polynesian and Micronesian peoples.
In 1985 a study was made on the origin of the sidereal compass used
in the Caroline Islands.
Further information: History of the Federated States of Micronesia
and History of
Different islands and island groups in the Carolines passed down
unique and variant oral legends recounting the origins and early
histories of their peoples. On
Pohnpei , for example, pre-colonial
history is divided into three eras: Mwehin Kawa or Mwehin Aramas
(Period of Building, or Period of Peopling, before ca. 1100); Mwehin
Sau Deleur (Period of the Lord of Deleur , ca. 1100 to ca. 1628);
and Mwehin Nahnmwarki (Period of the Nahnmwarki, ca. 1628 to ca.
1885). Pohnpeian legend recounts that the
Saudeleur rulers, the
first to bring government to Pohnpei, were of foreign origin. The
Saudeleur centralized form of absolute rule is characterized in
Pohnpeian legend as becoming increasingly oppressive over several
generations. Arbitrary and onerous demands, as well as a reputation
for offending Pohnpeian deities, sowed resentment among Pohnpeians.
Saudeleur Dynasty ended with the invasion of
Isokelekel , another
semi-mythical foreigner, who replaced the
Saudeleur rule with the more
decentralized nahnmwarki system in existence today.
Spanish-Caroline currency used in 1899 in the Caroline Islands.
Note the mark of a circular punch.
In mid-1525 a storm carried the Portuguese navigators Diogo da Rocha
Gomes de Sequeira eastward from the
Celebes ); they
reached several islands of the Carolines and stayed there until
January 20, 1526. The Spanish explorers Toribio
Alonso de Salazar and
Diego de Saavedra arrived on August 22, 1526, sighting the Island of
San Bartolomé or Taongui . On 1 January 1528 the discoverer Álvaro
de Saavedra took possession of the Uluti Islands on behalf of the King
Spain . Spanish explorers visited the archipelago in 1542
(Matelotes Islands), 1543, and 1545. In 1565
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi ,
the first Governor-General of the
Philippines (in office 1565-1572),
The islands, known to contemporary Spaniards as Islas de las
Hermanas, Hombres Pintados and Los Jardines, dropped out of European
consciousness until 1686, when Francisco de Lezcano came to
called the islands Las Carolinas, in honor of King Carlos II of Spain
(reigned 1665-1700). The name was extended to include the Palau
Islands and the archipelagos which were named the Gilbert Islands and
Marshall Islands by British explorers who visited them between
1788 and 1799.
The occupation of the
Caroline Islands had, as in most of the Spanish
colonies, a marked religious character. A royal decree of October 19,
1707 granted authorization for the sending of missionaries in several
expeditions to the islands. One such expedition (1731) was made by
Father Juan Antonio Cantova, who was killed. As a result,
relations with the
Caroline Islands until 1787. Relations resumed
later, but with a distinctly commercial character.
In 1852 the Spanish colonel Coello suggested to the Spanish
government that the effective occupation of the Caroline Islands
provided trade advantages between the
Australia , New
Guinea and the
Americas , but
Spain ignored his suggestions until
1885. In that year, the Spanish representative Butron and the kings of
Koror and Artingal signed an act which recognized the sovereignty of
the king of
Spain on the Carolines. Having secured the territory,
Spain attempted to establish custom duties in the region in 1875, but
Germany and the
United Kingdom protested because Spain's previous
abandonment of the islands had allowed the arrival of German and
British missions there. A conflict arose, leading to the submission of
these facts for arbitration by
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , who recognized Spanish
rights on the islands west of the
164th meridian east ; he assigned to
Marshall Islands and the right to maintain a naval station
in one of the Caroline Islands, a right that Germany never exercised.
Spanish–American War of 1898,
Spain sold the Carolines
and Marianas to Germany in the
German–Spanish Treaty (1899) for 25
million pesetas or 17 million goldmark (nearly 1,000,000 pounds
sterling ), while reserving to itself the right to establish a coal
mine in the area. Germany governed the archipelago as the Karolinen,
administratively associated with German
New Guinea .
Japan invaded and occupied the islands in 1914, during
World War I
World War I .
This occupation was carried out by two naval squadrons: the Western
Carolines under the squadron commanded by Rear Admiral Matsumura
Tatsuo (1868–1932), and the Eastern Carolines under Vice-Admiral
Yamaya Tanin (1866–1940). In 1920, after the conclusion of World War
I, Japan received a League of Nations mandate over the Caroline and
Marshall Islands. During
World War II
World War II , Japan had a large base set up
Truk Lagoon which was used for expansion into the southeastern
Pacific. In the latter years of the war, during the Japanese
withdrawal to the Japanese home islands, the Allies effectively
neutralized Truk in
Operation Hailstone . After the war, the islands
(together with the Marshall Islands) became trust territories of the
United States , with the
Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia gaining
independence in 1986, followed by
Palau in 1994.
COLONIAL GOVERNORS OR OFFICERS
Transfer of sovereignty at
Yap in the Western Caroline Islands
District officers (from 1889, styled
In the western Caroline islands (
* 29 June 1886 – 18??, Manuel de Elisa
* before November 1897 – after November 1898, S. Cortes
* 1899–1909, Arno Senfft (b. 1864 – d. 1909)
* 1909–19??, Rudolf Karlowa
* 1909–1910, Georg Fritz
* 1910–1911, Hermann Kersting
* 1911–1914, Baumert
In the Eastern Caroline islands (Ponape , and including the Marshall
Islands from 1911)
* June 1886 – 1887 Capriles
* 14 March 1887 – 1887, Isidro Posadillo (d. 1887)
* October 1887 – January 1891, Luis Cadarso y Rey (d. 1898)
* c.1894, Concha
* before November 1897 – after November 1898, J. Fernandez de
* 12 October 1899 – August 1901, Albert Hahl (b. 1868 – d. 1945)
* 1 September 1901 – 30 April 1907, Victor Berg (b. 1861 – d.
* 1907–1908?, Max Girschner (acting)
* 1908–1909, Georg Fritz
* 1909 – 18 October 1910, Gustav Boeder (d. 1910)
* 1910 – 7 October 1914, August Überhorst
Jesuits , Juan Antonio Cantova (also known as John Anthony
Cantova) and Victor Walter, attempted missionary work there in 1731;
the former was soon murdered and the latter obliged to flee. Two other
Jesuits were killed later. In 1767 the
Jesuits were suppressed in the
Spanish dominions, and during the next 120 years there has been no
trace of a missionary.
The controversy between Germany and
Spain concerning the possession
of the Carolines having been settled by
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII in favour of
Spain, the king directed Spanish Capuchins to the islands, 15 March
1886, and the
Propaganda Fide officially established that mission, 15
May 1886, dividing it into two sections, named West and East Carolines
respectively. Until then the islands had belonged ecclesiastically to
the Vicariate Apostolic of
Micronesia . The Spanish Capuchins had a
catechism and prayer book printed in the Ponape dialect, and Father
Anthony of Valentia wrote a small grammar and dictionary of the Yap
dialect in 1890.
When the Spanish Fathers had laid the foundations of the mission,
these islands passed by purchase into the hands of Germany in 1899.
Spain had contributed more than $5000 a year towards the mission;
Germany granted no support.
Spain had compelled the aborigines to send
their children to school; Germany gave full liberty in this regard,
and the people consequently began to neglect school as well as church.
The mission thereby suffered greatly, and the
Propaganda Fide finally
deemed it advisable to replace the Spanish Capuchins with others of
German nationality (7 November 1904) and to erect one Apostolic
prefecture instead of the two separate missions (18 December 1905).
The Very Reverend Father Venantius of Prechtal , Germany was appointed
first prefect Apostolic.
In 1906 twelve fathers and twelve brothers were working in thirteen
stations, and several Sisters of St. Francis left
Luxembourg to take
charge of the ten schools, in which were 262 children. Ninety adult
converts were the "harvest" of that year, and the Catholic population
is given as 1900 among 11,600 unconverted natives and a few
United States Government
United States Government sent, 1 July 1905, a Jesuit
Manila Observatory to erect a meteorological station on the
island of Yap, of which station the Capuchin Father Callistus was
appointed director. The origin of the East-Asiatic typhoons had been
traced to these regions, and twice a day observations are made, and
notice is frequently given to
Manila by cable.
A 5 mark Germany "Yacht" stamp marked Karolinen
During the period of German control, Germany issued postage stamps
for the islands; see postage stamps and postal history of the Caroline
Islands for more details.
* ^ The
Saudeleur era lasted around 500 years. Legend generally
dates their downfall to the 1500s, however archaeologists date
Saudeleur ruins to ca. 1628.
* ^ Rosser, William Henry (1870). North Pacific pilot: The
seaman\'s guide to the islands of the North Pacific, with an appendix
on the winds, weather, currents, &c., of the North and South Pacific.
J. Imray. pp. 183–184. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
* ^ "Distance from Tobi Island to Kosrae". Google.
* ^ Halpern, M. D. (1985) "The Origins of the Carolinian Sidereal
Compass", Master's thesis, Texas A Strong, Beret E.; Flood, William
(2002). Micronesian Legends. Bess Press. pp. 145–7, 160. ISBN
1-57306-129-8 . Retrieved 2012-01-01.
* ^ A B Hanlon, David L (1988). Upon a Stone Altar: A History of
the Island of
Pohnpei to 1890. Pacific Islands Monograph. 5.
University of Hawaii Press. pp. 13–25. ISBN 0-8248-1124-0 .
* ^ Cordy, Ross H (1993). The Lelu Stone Ruins (Kosrae,
Micronesia): 1978-81 Historical and Archaeological Research. Asian and
Pacific Archaeology. Social Science Research Institute, University of
Hawaii at Manoa. pp. 14, 254, 258. ISBN 0-8248-1134-8 . Retrieved
* ^ Morgan, William N (1988). Prehistoric Architecture in
Micronesia. University of Texas Press. pp. 60, 63, 76, 85. ISBN
0-292-76506-1 . Retrieved 2011-12-31.
* ^ A B Panholzer, Tom; Rufino, Mauricio (2003). Place Names of
Pohnpei Island: Including And (Ant) and Pakin Atolls. Bess Press. pp.
xiii, xii, 101. ISBN 1-57306-166-2 . Retrieved 2011-12-31.
* ^ Micronesica. University of Guam. 1990. pp. 92, 203, 277.
* ^ Ballinger, Bill Sanborn (1978). Lost City of Stone: The Story
of Nan Madol, the "Atlantis" of the Pacific. Simon and Schuster. pp.
45–8. ISBN 0-671-24030-7 . Retrieved 2011-12-31.
* ^ Riesenberg, Saul H (1968). The Native Polity of Ponape.
Contributions to Anthropology. 10. Smithsonian Institution Press. pp.
38, 51. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
* ^ Petersen, Glenn (1990). "Lost in the Weeds: Theme and Variation
Pohnpei Political Mythology" (PDF). Occasional Papers. Center for
Pacific Islands Studies, School of Hawaiian, Asian & Pacific Studies,
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 35: ch. 5. "Isokelekel", pp. 34 et
seq. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
* ^ Galvano, Antonio (1563). The Discoveries of the World from
Their First Original Unto the Year of Our Lord 1555 (2004 ed.).
Kessinger Publishing, issued by the Hakluyt Society. p. 168. ISBN
* ^ José Saínz Ramírez. "Colonial empires" publisher: Nacional,
* ^ José Saínz Ramírez: "Colonial empires", imprenta Nacional,
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Caroline Islands".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed
Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.
* Region Datasheet at World Statesmen.org
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