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Coordinates: 7°30′N 134°30′E / 7.500°N 134.500°E / 7.500; 134.500

Republic
Republic
of Palau Beluu er a Belau (Palauan)

Flag

Seal

Anthem: Belau rekid Our Palau

Status Sovereign state
Sovereign state
in free association with the United States

Capital Ngerulmud 7°30′N 134°37′E / 7.500°N 134.617°E / 7.500; 134.617

Largest city Koror 7°20′N 134°29′E / 7.333°N 134.483°E / 7.333; 134.483

Official languages English, Palauan

Recognized regional languages

Japanese Sonsorolese Tobian

Ethnic groups (2015[1])

73% Palauan 21.7% Asian 2.0% Carolinian 1.2% Caucasian 2.1% other / unspecified

Demonym Palauan

Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic under a non-partisan democracy

• President

Tommy Remengesau

• Vice President

Raynold Oilouch

• Senate President

Hokkons Baules

• House Speaker

Sabino Anastacio

• Chief Justice

Arthur Ngiraklsong

• Chairman of Council of Chiefs

Yutaka Gibbons

Legislature Olbiil era Kelulau

• Upper house

Senate

• Lower house

House of Delegates

Independence from the United States

• Trusteeship

18 July 1947

• Constitution

2 April 1979

• Compact of Free Association

1 October 1994

Area

• Total

459 km2 (177 sq mi) (180th)

• Water (%)

negligible

Population

• 2016 estimate

21,503[2] (224th)

• 2013 census

20,918

• Density

46.7/km2 (121.0/sq mi)

GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate

• Total

$297 million[3]

• Per capita

$16,278[3] (81st)

GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate

• Total

$315 million[3]

• Per capita

$17,286[3]

HDI (2015)  0.788[4] high · 60th

Currency United States
United States
dollar (USD)

Time zone (UTC+9)

• Summer (DST)

not observed (UTC+9)

Date format dd/mm/yyyy

Drives on the right

Calling code +680

ISO 3166 code PW

Internet TLD .pw

Website palaugov.pw

Palau
Palau
(/pəˈlaʊ/ ( listen) pə-LAU, historically Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic
Republic
of Palau
Palau
(Palauan: Beluu er a Belau),[5] is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country contains approximately 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
in Micronesia, and has an area of 466 square kilometers (180 sq mi).[6] The most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud
Ngerulmud
is located on the nearby island of Babeldaob, in Melekeok
Melekeok
State. Palau
Palau
shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The country was originally settled approximately 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines
Philippines
and sustained a Negrito
Negrito
population until around 900 years ago. The islands were first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, and were made part of the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
in 1574. Following Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War
Spanish–American War
in 1898, the islands were sold to Imperial Germany
Imperial Germany
in 1899 under the terms of the German–Spanish Treaty, where they were administered as part of German New Guinea. The Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
conquered Palau
Palau
during World War I, and the islands were later made a part of the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate
South Pacific Mandate
by the League of Nations. During World War II, skirmishes, including the major Battle of Peleliu, were fought between American and Japanese troops as part of the Mariana and Palau
Palau
Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau
Palau
was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands
in 1947. Having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States. Politically, Palau
Palau
is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. Legislative power
Legislative power
is concentrated in the bicameral Palau
Palau
National Congress. Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product (GNP) derived from foreign aid. The country uses the United States
United States
dollar as its currency. The islands' culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian, Asian, and Western elements. Ethnic Palauans, the majority of the population, are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, and Austronesian
Austronesian
descent. A smaller proportion of the population is descended from Japanese and Filipino settlers. The country's two official languages are Palauan (a member of the wider Sunda–Sulawesi language group) and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobian recognized as regional languages.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Early history 2.2 After 16th century 2.3 Spanish era 2.4 Colonial era 2.5 United States
United States
era 2.6 Independence

3 Politics and government

3.1 Foreign relations 3.2 Administrative divisions 3.3 Maritime law enforcement

4 Geography

4.1 Climate 4.2 Environment 4.3 Sanctuary

5 Economy 6 Transportation 7 Demographics

7.1 Languages 7.2 Religion

8 Culture

8.1 Traditional government 8.2 Sports 8.3 Education 8.4 Cuisine

9 In art, film and television 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

12.1 Government

Etymology[edit] The name for the islands in the Palauan language, Belau, likely derives from either the Palauan word for "village", beluu,[7] or from aibebelau ("indirect replies"), relating to a creation myth.[8] The name "Palau" entered the English language
English language
from the Spanish Los Palaos, via the German Palau. An archaic name for the islands in English was the "Pelew Islands".[9] Palau
Palau
is unrelated to Pulau, which is a Malay word meaning "island" found in a number of place names in the region. History[edit]

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Main article: History of Palau Early history[edit] Palau
Palau
was originally settled between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE, most likely from Indonesia
Indonesia
or the Philippines.[10] The islands sustained a population of short-statured Melanesian
Melanesian
or Pygmy people
Pygmy people
until the 12th century, when they were replaced.[citation needed] The modern Micronesian population, judging by its language, may have come from the Sunda Islands
Sunda Islands
through the islands in the Philippines. Sonsorol, part of the Southwest Islands, an island chain approximately 600 kilometers (370 mi) from the main island chain of Palau, was sighted by Europeans as early as 1522, when the Spanish mission of the Trinidad, the flagship of Ferdinand Magellan's voyage of circumnavigation, sighted two small islands around the 5th parallel north, naming them "San Juan".[11]

Map of 1888 showing the Spanish East Indies, including Palau
Palau
Islands (map without Philippines)

After the conquest of the Philippines
Philippines
in 1565 by the Spanish Empire, the archipelago of Palau
Palau
became part of the territory of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, established in 1574 as part of the Spanish East Indies with the capital based in the colonial centre in Manila. However, the Spanish presence only began to express with evangelization, began at the end of the 17th century, and its dominance began to take shape in the 18th century. After 16th century[edit] The conscious discovery of Palau
Palau
came a century later in 1697, when a group of Palauans were shipwrecked on the Philippine island of Samar to the northwest. They were interviewed by the Czech missionary Paul Klein on 28 December 1696. Klein was able to draw the first map of Palau
Palau
based on the Palauans' representation of their home islands that they made with an arrangement of 87 pebbles on the beach. Klein reported his findings to the Jesuit Superior General in a letter sent in June 1697,[12] equaling to the discovery of Palau. Spanish era[edit] This map and the letter caused a vast interest in the new islands. Another letter written by Fr. Andrés Serrano was sent to Europe
Europe
in 1705, essentially copying the information given by Klein. The letters resulted in three unsuccessful Jesuit attempts to travel to Palau
Palau
from Spanish Philippines
Philippines
in 1700, 1708 and 1709. The islands were first visited by the Jesuit expedition led by Francisco Padilla on 30 November 1710. The expedition ended with the stranding of the two priests, Jacques Du Beron and Joseph Cortyl, on the coast of Sonsorol, because the mother ship Santísima Trinidad was driven to Mindanao
Mindanao
by a storm. Another ship was sent from Guam
Guam
in 1711 to save them only to capsize, causing the death of three more Jesuit priests. The failure of these missions gave Palau
Palau
the original Spanish name Islas Encantadas (Enchanted Islands).[13] Despite these early misfortunes, the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
later came to dominate the islands.[citation needed] Colonial era[edit]

Koror
Koror
chiefs in 1915

British traders became prominent visitors to Palau
Palau
in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. Palau, under the name Palaos, was included in the Malolos Congress, the first revolutionary congress in the Philippines. Palau
Palau
had one appointed member to the congress, becoming the only group of islands in the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
to be granted representation in a non-colonial Philippine congress.[14] Following its defeat in the Spanish–American War, Spain
Spain
sold Palau
Palau
and the rest of the Caroline Islands to the German Empire
German Empire
in 1899 pursuant to the German–Spanish Treaty (1899), despite Palau
Palau
already having representation in the Malolos Congress
Malolos Congress
of the First Philippine Republic.[15] During World War I, the Japanese Empire annexed the islands after seizing them from Germany in 1914. Following World War I, the League of Nations
League of Nations
formally placed the islands under Japanese administration as part of the South Pacific Mandate. United States
United States
era[edit] During World War II, the United States
United States
captured Palau
Palau
from Japan
Japan
in 1944 after the costly Battle of Peleliu, when more than 2,000 Americans and 10,000 Japanese were killed. In 1945–1946, the United States re-established control on the Philippines, and managed Palau through the Philippine capital of Manila. By the later half of 1946, however, the Philippines
Philippines
was granted full independence, shifting the US Far West Pacific capital to Guam. Palau
Palau
passed formally to the United States
United States
under United Nations
United Nations
auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 21. Independence[edit]

TTPI High Commissioner and staff, 1960s

Four of the Trust Territory districts joined together and formed the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
in 1979, but the districts of Palau
Palau
and the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
declined to participate. Palau, the westernmost cluster of the Carolines, instead opted for independent status in 1978. It approved a new constitution and became the Republic
Republic
of Palau in 1981.[16] It signed a Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States in 1982. On the same year, Palau
Palau
became one of the founding members of the Nauru
Nauru
Agreement. After eight referenda and an amendment to the Palauan constitution, the Compact was ratified in 1993. The Compact went into effect on 1 October 1994,[17] marking Palau
Palau
de jure independent, although it had been de facto independent since 25 May 1994, when the trusteeship ended. Formal diplomatic relations with the Philippines
Philippines
was re-established on the same year. Palau
Palau
also became a member of the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands
Forum. Legislation making Palau
Palau
an "offshore" financial center was passed by the Senate in 1998. In 2001, Palau
Palau
passed its first bank regulation and anti-money laundering laws. In 2005, Palau
Palau
led the Micronesia challenge, which would conserve 30% of near-shore coastal waters and 20% of forest land of participating countries by 2020. In 2012, the Rock Islands
Rock Islands
of Palau
Palau
was declared as a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site.[18] In 2015, Palau
Palau
became a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and at the same time, the country officially protected 80% of its water resources, becoming the first country to do so.[19] The protection of its water resources made significant increases in the country's economy in less than two years.[20] In 2017, the nation became the first to establish an eco-promise, known as the Palau Pledge, which are stamped on local and foreign passports.[21] In 2018, Palau
Palau
and the Philippines
Philippines
began re-connecting their economic and diplomatic relations. The Philippines
Philippines
has supported Palau
Palau
to become an observer state in ASEAN, as Palau
Palau
also has Southeast Asian ethnic origins.[22] Politics and government[edit] Main article: Politics of Palau

Capitol of Palau, the seat of government.

Palau
Palau
is a democratic republic. The President of Palau
President of Palau
is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the Palau
Palau
National Congress. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Palau
Palau
adopted a constitution in 1981. The governments of the United States
United States
and Palau
Palau
concluded a Compact of Free Association in 1986, similar to compacts that the United States had entered into with the Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia
and the Republic
Republic
of the Marshall Islands.[23] The compact entered into force on 1 October 1994, concluding Palau's transition from trusteeship to independence[23] as the last portion of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands
to secure its independence pursuant to Security Council Resolution 956. The Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
between the United States
United States
and Palau[24] sets forth the free and voluntary association of their governments. It primarily focuses on the issues of government, economic, security and defense relations.[25] Palau
Palau
has no independent military, relying on the United States
United States
for its defense. Under the compact, the American military
American military
was granted access to the islands for 50 years. The U.S. Navy role is minimal, limited to a handful of Navy Seabees (construction engineers). The U.S. Coast Guard patrols in national waters. Foreign relations[edit] Main article: Foreign relations of Palau As a sovereign nation, Palau
Palau
conducts its own foreign relations.[23] Since independence, Palau
Palau
has established diplomatic relations with a number of nations, including many of its Pacific neighbors, like Micronesia
Micronesia
and the Philippines. On 29 November 1994, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 963 recommending Palau's admission to the United Nations. The United Nations
United Nations
General Assembly approved admission for Palau
Palau
pursuant to Resolution 49/63 on 15 December 1994.[26] Palau
Palau
has since joined several other international organizations. In September 2006, Palau
Palau
hosted the first Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit. Its President has made official visits to other Pacific countries, including Japan. [27] The United States
United States
maintains a diplomatic delegation and an embassy in Palau, but most aspects of the countries' relationship have to do with Compact-funded projects, which are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs.[28] In international politics, Palau
Palau
often votes with the United States with respect to United Nations
United Nations
General Assembly resolutions.[29] Palau
Palau
is a member of the Nauru
Nauru
Agreement.[30] In 1981, Palau
Palau
voted for the world's first nuclear-free constitution. This constitution banned the use, storage and disposal of nuclear, toxic chemical, gas and biological weapons without first being approved by a ¾ majority in a referendum.[31] This ban delayed Palau's transition to independence, because while negotiating the Compact, the U.S. insisted on the option to operate nuclear propelled vessels and store nuclear weapons within the territory,[32] prompting campaigns for independence and denuclearisation.[33] After several referendums that failed to achieve a ¾ majority, the people of Palau finally approved the Compact in 1994.[34][35] The Philippines, a neighboring ally of Palau
Palau
to the west, has expressed its intent to back Palau
Palau
if ever it wishes to join ASEAN.[citation needed] In June 2009, Palau
Palau
announced that it would accept up to seventeen Uyghurs
Uyghurs
who had previously been detained by the American military
American military
at Guantanamo Bay,[36] with some American compensation for the cost of their upkeep.[37] Only one of the Uyghurs
Uyghurs
initially agreed to resettlement,[38] but by the end of October, six of the seventeen had been transferred to Palau.[39] An aid agreement with the United States, finalized in January 2010, was reported to be unrelated to the Uyghur agreement.[40] Administrative divisions[edit]

The sixteen states of Palau

Main article: States of Palau Palau
Palau
is divided into sixteen states (until 1984 called municipalities). These are listed below with their areas (in square kilometers) and 2012 Census populations:

State Area (km2) Census 2012

Aimeliik 44 281

Airai 59 2537

Angaur 8.06 130

Hatohobei 0.9 10

Kayangel 1.7 76

Koror 60.52 11670

Melekeok 26 300

Ngaraard 34 453

Ngarchelong 11.2 281

Ngardmau 34 195

Ngaremlengui 68 310

Ngatpang 33 257

Ngchesar 43 287

Ngiwal 17 226

Peleliu 22.3 510

Sonsorol 3.1 42

Historically, Palau's Rock Islands
Rock Islands
have been part of the State of Koror.

Republic
Republic
of Palau.

Maritime law enforcement[edit] Palau
Palau
employs 18 marine police officers to patrol the nation's 230,000 square mile exclusive economic zone. They employ a donated Australian patrol boat, the Remeliik, to hunt for poachers and unlicensed fishermen. Two small fiberglass boats are used for littoral operations. They are based on Koror.[41] Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Palau Palau's territory consists of an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. Its most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror
Koror
and Peleliu. The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur
Angaur
is an oceanic island several miles to the south. About two-thirds of the population live on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel
Kayangel
is north of these islands, while the uninhabited Rock Islands
Rock Islands
(about 200) are west of the main island group. A remote group of six islands, known as the Southwest Islands, some 375 miles (604 km) from the main islands, make up the states of Hatohobei
Hatohobei
and Sonsorol. Climate[edit] Palau
Palau
has a tropical rainforest climate with an annual mean temperature of 28 °C (82 °F). Rainfall
Rainfall
is heavy throughout the year, averaging 3,800 mm (150 in). The average humidity is 82% and, although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine. Typhoons are rare, as Palau
Palau
lies outside the main typhoon zone. The strongest typhoon that struck Palau
Palau
since reliable records was Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.[42] A mandatory emergency evacuation was issued for Kayangel. A storm surge damaged several houses. Despite residents' refusal to evacuate safely, no fatalities or major injuries were reported.

Climate data for Palau
Palau
Islands (1961–1990)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 30.6 (87.1) 30.6 (87.1) 30.9 (87.6) 31.3 (88.3) 31.4 (88.5) 31.0 (87.8) 30.6 (87.1) 30.7 (87.3) 30.9 (87.6) 31.1 (88) 31.4 (88.5) 31.1 (88) 30.97 (87.74)

Daily mean °C (°F) 27.3 (81.1) 27.2 (81) 27.5 (81.5) 27.9 (82.2) 28.0 (82.4) 27.6 (81.7) 27.4 (81.3) 27.5 (81.5) 27.7 (81.9) 27.7 (81.9) 27.9 (82.2) 27.7 (81.9) 27.62 (81.72)

Average low °C (°F) 23.9 (75) 23.9 (75) 24.1 (75.4) 24.4 (75.9) 24.5 (76.1) 24.2 (75.6) 24.1 (75.4) 24.3 (75.7) 24.5 (76.1) 24.4 (75.9) 24.4 (75.9) 24.2 (75.6) 24.24 (75.63)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 271.8 (10.701) 231.6 (9.118) 208.3 (8.201) 220.2 (8.669) 304.5 (11.988) 438.7 (17.272) 458.2 (18.039) 379.7 (14.949) 301.2 (11.858) 352.3 (13.87) 287.5 (11.319) 304.3 (11.98) 3,758.3 (147.964)

Average rainy days 19.0 15.9 16.7 14.8 20.0 21.9 21.0 19.8 16.8 20.1 18.7 19.9 224.6

Mean monthly sunshine hours 198.4 194.9 244.9 234.0 210.8 168.0 186.0 176.7 198.0 179.8 183.0 182.9 2,357.4

Source: Hong Kong Observatory,[43]

Environment[edit]

Rock Islands
Rock Islands
in Palau.

An aerial view of limestone islands.

While much of Palau
Palau
remains free of environmental degradation, areas of concern include illegal dynamite fishing, inadequate solid waste disposal facilities in Koror
Koror
and extensive sand and coral dredging in the Palau
Palau
lagoon. As with other Pacific island nations, rising sea level presents a major environmental threat. Inundation of low-lying areas threatens coastal vegetation, agriculture, and an already insufficient water supply. Wastewater treatment
Wastewater treatment
is a problem, along with the handling of toxic waste from fertilizers and biocides. Saltwater crocodiles are also indigenous to Palau
Palau
and occur in varying numbers throughout the various mangroves and in parts of the rock islands. Although this species is generally considered extremely dangerous, there has only been one fatal human attack in Palau
Palau
within modern history, and that was in the 1960s. In Palau, the largest crocodile measured in at 4.5 meters (15 ft).[citation needed] The nation is also vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tropical storms. Palau
Palau
already has a problem with inadequate water supply and limited agricultural areas to support its population. On 5 November 2005, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. took the lead on a regional environmental initiative called the Micronesia challenge, which would conserve 30% of near-shore coastal waters and 20% of forest land by 2020. Following Palau, the initiative was joined by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the U.S. territories of Guam
Guam
and Northern Mariana Islands. Together, this combined region represents nearly 5% of the marine area of the Pacific Ocean and 7% of its coastline. Sanctuary[edit] On 25 September 2009, Palau
Palau
announced that it would create the world's first shark sanctuary.[44] Palau
Palau
banned all commercial shark fishing within the waters of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The sanctuary protects about 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 sq mi) of ocean,[45] a similar size to France.[46][47][48] President Johnson Toribiong announced the sanctuary at a meeting of the United Nations.[46][49][50] President Toribiong proposed a worldwide ban on fishing for sharks.[46] In 2012, Palau
Palau
received the Future Policy Award from World Future Council, because " Palau
Palau
is a global leader in protecting marine ecosystems".[51] Economy[edit] Main article: Economy
Economy
of Palau Palau's economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing. Tourist activity focuses on scuba diving and snorkeling in the islands' rich marine environment, including its barrier reefs' walls and World War II
World War II
wrecks. The government is the largest employer, relying heavily on U.S. financial assistance. Business and tourist arrivals numbered some 50,000 in fiscal year 2000–2001.

Koror– Babeldaob
Babeldaob
Bridge

The population enjoys a per capita income twice that of Micronesia
Micronesia
as a whole. Long-term prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. Air service has at times been spotty. Palau
Palau
Micronesia
Micronesia
Air, Asian Spirit and Pacific Flier provided service to the Philippines
Philippines
and other destinations at various times during the 2000s, but all suspended service.[52] United Airlines
United Airlines
now provides near-daily service to and from Guam, and once-weekly service to Yap. Also, Delta Air Lines provides service three times per week to Tokyo. In November 2006, Palau
Palau
Saving Bank officially announced bankruptcy. On 13 December 2006, the Palau Horizon reported that 641 depositors had been affected. Among them, 398 held less than US$5,000, with the remainder ranging from US$5,000 to US$2 million. On 12 December 79 affected people received compensation. Mr. Toribiong said, "The fund for the payout came from the balance of Palau
Palau
government's loan from Taiwan." From a total of US$1 million, which originally was for assisting Palau's development, US$955,000 was left at the time of bankruptcy. Toribiong requested the Taiwanese government use the balance to repay its loans. Taiwan
Taiwan
agreed to the request. The compensation would include those who held less than US$4,000 in an account.[53] The income tax has three brackets with progressive rates of 9.3 percent, 15 percent, and 19.6 percent respectively. Corporate tax
Corporate tax
is four percent, and the sales tax is zero. There are no property taxes.

Transportation[edit]

Palau
Palau
International Airport

Palau International Airport
Palau International Airport
provides scheduled direct flights with Guam, Manila, Seoul and Taipei and since December 2010, Tokyo-Narita. Palau Pacific Airways
Palau Pacific Airways
also has charter flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau. In addition, the states of Angaur
Angaur
and Peleliu
Peleliu
have regular service to international destinations. Freight, military and cruise ships often call at Malakal Harbor, on Malakal Island
Island
outside Koror. The country has no railways, and of the 61 km or 38 mi of highways, only 36 km or 22 mi are paved. Driving
Driving
is on the right and the speed limit is 40 km/h (25 mph). Taxis are available in Koror. They are not metered and fares are negotiable. Transportation between islands mostly relies on private boats and domestic air services. However, there are some state run boats between islands as a cheaper alternative. Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of Palau

Historical population

Year Pop.

1970 11,210

1980 12,116

1990 15,122

2000 21,000

The population of Palau
Palau
is approximately 21,503, of whom 73% are native Palauans of mixed Melanesian, and Austronesian
Austronesian
descent. There are many Asian communities within Palau. Filipinos form the largest Asian group and second largest ethnic group in the country. There are significant numbers of Chinese and Koreans. There are also smaller numbers of Palauans of mixed or full Japanese ancestry. Smaller numbers of Bangladeshi and Nepalese migrant workers and their descendants who came to the islands during the late 1900s can also be found. Most Palauans of Asian origin came during the late 1900s with many Filipinos, Chinese, Bangladeshis and Nepalese coming to Palau
Palau
as unskilled workers and professionals.[54] There are also small numbers of Europeans and Americans.

Tobi villagers.

Languages[edit] The official languages of Palau
Palau
are Palauan and English, except for two states ( Sonsorol
Sonsorol
and Hatohobei) where the local language, Sonsorolese and Tobian, respectively, along with Palauan, is official. Japanese is spoken by some older Palauans and is an official language in the State of Angaur.[55][56] Including second-language speakers, more people speak English than Palauan in Palau
Palau
[1]. Religion[edit] Main article: Religion in Palau According to 2015 estimates 45.3% of the population is Roman Catholic, 34.9% Protestant, 6.9% Seventh-day Adventist, 5.7% Modekngei and 3.0% Muslim.[1] In 2009, the small Jewish
Jewish
community sent two cyclists to the 18th Maccabiah Games.[57] The German and Japanese occupations of Palau
Palau
both subsidized missionaries to follow the Spanish. Germans sent Roman Catholic and Protestant, Japanese sent Shinto
Shinto
and Buddhist, and Spaniards sent Roman Catholic missionaries as they controlled Palau. Three quarters of the population are Christians (mainly Roman Catholics and Protestants), while Modekngei (a combination of Christianity, traditional Palauan religion and fortune telling) and the ancient Palauan religion are commonly observed. Japanese rule brought Mahayana Buddhism and Shinto
Shinto
to Palau, which were the majority religions among Japanese settlers. However, following Japan's World War II
World War II
defeat, the remaining Japanese largely converted to Christianity, while the remainder continued to observe Buddhism, but stopped practicing Shinto rites.[58] There are also approximately 400 Bengali Muslims in Palau, and recently a few Uyghurs
Uyghurs
detained in Guantanamo Bay were allowed to settle in the island nation. Culture[edit] See also: Music of Palau and Palauan language

A traditional Palauan hut (2012)

Palauan society follows a very strict matrilineal system. Matrilineal practices are seen in nearly every aspect of Palauan traditions, especially in funeral, marriage, inheritance and the passing of traditional titles. The cuisine includes local foods such as cassava, taro, yam, potato, fish and pork. Western cuisine
Western cuisine
is favored among young Palauans and the locals are joined by foreign tourists. The rest of Micronesia
Micronesia
is similar with much less tourism, leading to fewer restaurants.[citation needed] Tourists eat mainly at their hotels on such islands. Some local foods include an alcoholic drink made from coconut on the tree; the drink made from the roots of the kava; and the chewing of betel nuts. The traditional government system still influences the nation's affairs, leading the federal government to repeatedly attempt to limit its power. Many of these attempts took the form of amendments to the constitution that were supported by the corporate sector to protect what they deemed should be free economic zones.[citation needed] One such example occurred in early 2010, where the Idid clan, the ruling clan of the Southern Federation, under the leadership of Bilung, the Southern Federation's queen, raised a civil suit against the Koror State Public Lands Authority (KSPLA). The Idid clan laid claim over Malakal Island, a major economic zone and Palau's most important port, citing documents from the German Era. The verdict held that the Island belonged to the KSPLA. Traditional government[edit] The present day "traditional" government of Palau
Palau
is a continuation of its ancestor, composed of practices that span thousands of years.[citation needed] Traditionally, Palau
Palau
was hierarchically organized. The lowest level is the village or hamlet, then the chiefdom (now politically referred to as a state) and finally alliances of chiefdoms. In ancient times, numerous federations divided power, but upon the 17th century introduction of firearms by the British, an imbalance of power occurred. Palau
Palau
became divided into northern and southern federations. The Northern Federation is headed by the high chief and chiefess of the ruling clan Uudes of Melekeok
Melekeok
state, the Reklai and Ebilreklai. They are commonly referred to as the king and queen of the Northern Federation. This northern federation comprises the state of Kayangel, Ngerchelong, Ngardmau, Ngiwal, Ngaraard, Ngatpang, Ngeremlengui, Melekok, Aimeliik, Ngchesar
Ngchesar
and Airai. The Southern Federation is likewise represented by the high chief and chiefess of the ruling Idid of Koror
Koror
state. The Southern Federation comprises the states of Koror, Peleliu
Peleliu
and Angaur. However, fewer and fewer Palauans have knowledge of the concept of federations, and the term is slowly dying out. Federations were established as a way of safeguarding states and hamlets who shared economic, social, and political interests, but with the advent a federal government, safeguards are less meaningful. It is interesting to note however, that in international relations, the king of Palau
Palau
is synonymous with the Ibedul of Koror. This is because Koror is the industrial capital of the nation, elevating his position over the Reklai of Melekeok. It is a misconception that the king and queen of Palau, or any chief and his female counterpart for that matter are married. Traditional leaders and their female counterparts have always been related and unmarried (marrying relatives was a traditional taboo). Usually, a chief and his female counterpart are brother and sister, or close cousins, and have their own spouses. Sports[edit] See also: Baseball
Baseball
in Palau Baseball
Baseball
is a popular sport in Palau
Palau
after its introduction by the Japanese in the 1920s. The Palau national baseball team won the gold medal at the 1990, 1998 and 2010 Micronesian Games, as well as at the 2007 Pacific Games. Palau
Palau
also has a national football team, organised by the Palau
Palau
Soccer Association, but is not a member of FIFA. The Association also organizes the Palau
Palau
Soccer League. Education[edit] Primary education is required until age of 16. Schools include both public and private institutions as well as some fields of study available at Palau
Palau
Community College. For further undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, students travel abroad to attend tertiary institutions. Popular choices among Palauan scholars include the San Diego State University
San Diego State University
and the University of the South Pacific.[59]

Wikinews has related news: Bones of "small-bodied humans" found in cave

Cuisine[edit] See also: List of Oceanian cuisines Palau
Palau
has its own cuisine, for instance, a dessert called tama.[60] Palauan cuisine
Palauan cuisine
includes local foods such as cassava, taro, yam, potato, fish and pork. Fruit bat soup is a commonly referenced Palauan delicacy.[61] In art, film and television[edit] Several television programs and films have been shot in Palau. Examples include the reality show Survivor: Palau
Palau
and the 1968 film Hell in the Pacific
Hell in the Pacific
starring Lee Marvin.[62] A television documentary about Palau, Strategic Trust: The Making of Nuclear-free Palau, was narrated by Joanne Woodward
Joanne Woodward
and aired in the United States
United States
in 1984.[63] Graphic artist Rolf Weijburg produced a colour etch of Turtle Cove, a dive site in Palau.[64][65]. See also[edit]

Geography portal Oceania
Oceania
portal Micronesia
Micronesia
portal

Imeong Conservation Area Index of Palau-related articles List of islands in Palau Ngebedech Terraces Outline of Palau Palau'amine Visa policy of Palau

References[edit]

^ a b "Palau". The World Factbook. CIA.  ^ "World Population
Population
Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population
Population
Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ a b c d Palau. imf.org ^ "2017 Human Development Report". United Nations
United Nations
Development Programme. 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2015.  ^ Constitution of Palau
Palau
Archived 26 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). palauembassy.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013. ^ "Statistical Yearbook 2015". Republic
Republic
of Palau
Palau
Bureau of Budget and Planning Ministry of Finance. ^ Culture of Palau
Culture of Palau
– Every Culture. Retrieved 25 May 2012. ^ The Bais of Belau – Underwater Colours. Retrieved 25 May 2012. ^ Palau: Portrait of Paradise. Underwater Colours. Retrieved 25 May 2012. ^ Palau
Palau
– Historical Boys' Clothing. Retrieved 25 May 2012. ^ Palau
Palau
– Foreign Ships in Micronesia. Retrieved 25 May 2012. ^ Serrano, Andres (1707). Los siete principes de los Angeles: validos del Rey del cielo. Misioneros, y protectores de la Tierra, con la practica de su deuocion. por Francisco Foppens. pp. 132–.  ^ Francis X. Hezel, SJ, Catholic Missions in the Carolines and Marshall Islands. Micsem.org. Retrieved on 12 September 2015. ^ Balabo, Dino (December 10, 2006). "Historians: Malolos Congress produced best RP Constitution". Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 August 2013.  ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malolos_Congress ^ "Pacific Island
Island
Battleground Now the Republic
Republic
of Belau". Bangor, Maine, USA: Bangor Daily News, via Google News. Associated Press. 23 January 1981.  ^ " Palau
Palau
Gains Independence on Saturday". Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: The Deseret News, via Google News. Associated Press. 30 September 1994.  ^ http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/PW/ ^ https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151028-palau-marine-protected-area-official-oceans-animals-conservation/ ^ https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/palau-marine-protected-area-ocean-fish/ ^ http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/2123491/palau-pledge-pacific-island-forces-visitors-sign-eco-promise ^ https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/02/16/ph-palau-agree-to-enhance-ties/ ^ a b c "Compact of Free Association: Palau's use of and accountability for U.S. assistance and prospects for economic self-sufficiency" (PDF). Report to Congressional Committees. United States Government Accountability Office. GAO-08-732: 1–2. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2014.  ^ Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
Between the Government of the United States of America and the government of Palau
Palau
Archived 6 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine., preamble ^ Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
Between the Government of the United States of America and the government of Palau
Palau
Archived 6 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Table of Contents ^ United Nations
United Nations
General Assembly Resolution 49/63, ''Admission of the Republic
Republic
of Palau
Palau
to Membership in the United Nations'', adopted 15 December 1994. Un.org. Retrieved on 12 September 2015. ^ "The President of the Republic
Republic
of Palau
Palau
to Visit Japan". Tokyo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 2014-12-15.  ^ Responsibilities and Authorities. USDOI Office of Insular Affairs. doi.gov ^ General Assembly – Overall Votes – Comparison with U.S. vote lists Palau
Palau
as in the country with the third high coincidence of votes. Palau
Palau
has always been in the top three. ^ "Pacific nations extend bans on tuna fishing". Radio Australia. East West Center. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.  ^ "The Constitution of the Republic
Republic
of Palau". The Government of Palau. 2 April 1979. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  ^ "Issues Associated. With Palau's Transition to Self-Government" (PDF). Government Accountability Office. July 1989. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  ^ Morei, Cita (1998), "Planting the mustard seed of world peace", in dé Ishtar, Zohl, Pacific women speak out for independence and denuclearisation, Christchurch, Aotearoa/ New Zealand
New Zealand
Annandale, New South Wales, Australia: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa) Disarmament and Security Centre (Aotearoa) Pacific Connections, ISBN 9780473056667  ^ Lyons, Richard D. (6 November 1994). "Work Ended, Trusteeship Council Resists U.N. Ax for Now". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  ^ "Trusteeship Mission reports on Palau
Palau
voting. (plebiscite on the Compact of Free Association
Compact of Free Association
with the United States)". 27 (2). UN Chronicle. June 1990.  ^ "Pacific state Palau
Palau
to take Uighur detainees". CTV News. 10 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2009.  ^ Kirit Radia (10 June 2009). "US and Palau
Palau
wrangling over Gitmo transfer details, including $$$". ABC News. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009.  ^ " Palau
Palau
Government still not sure if Uighurs are coming". Radio New Zealand International. 30 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009.  ^ "Six Guantanamo Uighurs arrive in Palau: US". Agence France-Presse. 31 October 2009. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009.  ^ " Palau
Palau
receives aid boost from US". Australia
Australia
Network News. 30 January 2010. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. The president insisted there was no link to the island's hosting of six inmates from Guantanamo Bay. Palau
Palau
had earlier rejected a 156 million dollar offer and the settlement came after the island nation agreed to resettle six Muslim Uighurs who had been held for more than seven years at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The six arrived in Palau in November. But Johnson said the two issues were not related.  ^ Urbina, Ian (21 February 2016), "Sea Sweepers", The New York Times Magazine, pp. 40–49  ^ Kitamoto, Asanobu. "Histogram of Typhoons Within 1 Degree of Koror". Digital Typhoon. Retrieved 25 January 2015.  ^ "Climatological Information for Palau
Palau
Islands, Pacific Islands, United States". Hong Kong Observatory.  ^ " Palau
Palau
creates world's first shark haven". The Philippine Star. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ Richard Black (25 September 2009). Palau
Palau
pioneers 'shark sanctuary'. BBC News. ^ a b c "Palau's EEZ becomes shark sanctuary". Xinhua News Agency. 27 September 2009. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ Sophie Tedmanson (26 September 2009). "World's first shark sanctuary created by Pacific island of Palau". The Times. London. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ Ker Than (25 September 2009). "France-Size Shark
Shark
Sanctuary Created – A First". National Geographic. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ " Palau
Palau
creates shark sanctuary to protect tourism and prevent overfishing". Radio New Zealand. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ Cornelia Dean (24 September 2009). " Palau
Palau
to Ban Shark
Shark
Fishing". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2009.  ^ "Tiny Nation of Palau
Palau
Proves Sharks Worth More Alive Than Dead". Jakarta Globe. 22 October 2012. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012.  ^ Ghim-Lay Yeo. "Palau's PacificFlier relooks business plan after suspension". Flightglobal. Retrieved 13 September 2011.  ^ 李光儀、王光慈. "帛琉銀行倒閉 賠償存戶竟由台灣埋單 ( Taiwan
Taiwan
pay for the bill of compensation for PSB bankruptcy)". udn.com Center. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.  ^ Asia in the Pacific Islands: Replacing the West pg 60, 61 ^ "CIA – The World Factbook
The World Factbook
– Field Listing :: Languages". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.  ^ Paul M. Lewis (ed) (2009). "Languages of Palau". SIL International. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Sokolow, Moshe (6 December 2012). "I've Got Friends in Low-lying Places..." Jewish
Jewish
Ideas Daily. Retrieved 7 August 2013.  ^ Brigham Young University— Hawaii
Hawaii
Campus (1981), p. 36 ^ " Palau
Palau
Education System". www.classbase.com. Retrieved 21 June 2016.  ^ "Tama – A Year
Year
Cooking the World". ayearcookingtheworld.com. Retrieved 2018-01-24.  ^ "Fruit bat soup has chicken-like taste". Newcastle Herald. 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2018-03-09.  ^ "'Pirates of Palau' pose problem". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. 23 May 1969. Retrieved 16 January 2015.  ^ "Strategic Trust: The Making of Nuclear-free Palau". The Salina Journal. Salina, Texas. 20 May 1984. Retrieved 16 January 2015.  ^ https://www.diveplanit.com/dive-site/turtle-cove/ ^ http://www.weijburg.nl/portofolio/etsen/739v.jpg

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Find more aboutPalauat's sister projects

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"Palau". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  Palau
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from the University of Colorado
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at Boulder Libraries (USA) – Government Publications. Australian library online, subscription, or membership via institutional access, is required. Palau
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at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Palau
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Encyclopædia Britannica entry Wikimedia Atlas of Palau NOAA's National Weather Service – Palau The Interesting History of Prince Lee Boo, Brought to England from the Pelew Islands From the Collections at the Library of Congress

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