The music of the Marshall Islands has a long history. The Marshall Islands are an independent island chain, geographically and culturally part of the Micronesian area. It was part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, governed by the United States, until independence in 1986.
The roro is a kind of traditional chant, usually about ancient legends and performed to give guidance during navigation and strength for mothers in labour. Modern bands have blended the unique songs of each island in the country with modern music.
Though drums are not generally common in Micronesian music, one-sided hourglass-shaped drums are a major part of Marshallese music.
The national anthem of the Marshall Islands is "Forever Marshall Islands", by Amata Kabua.
There is a traditional Marshallese dance called beet, which is influenced by Spanish folk dances. In it, men and women side-step in parallel lines, creating a very difficult and complex rhythm. There is a kind of "stick dance" performed by the Jobwa, nowadays only for very special occasions.
The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an island country and a United States associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 58,413 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The capital and largest city is Majuro. It has the largest portion of its territory made of water of any sovereign state, at 97.87%.
Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Island Melanesia to the south; as well as with the wider Austronesian peoples.
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1994.
Micronesians settled the Marshall Islands in the 2nd millennium BC, but there are no historical or oral records of that period. Over time, the Marshall Island people learned to navigate over long ocean distances by canoe using traditional stick charts.
Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The southernmost and largest island in the atoll is named Kwajalein Island, which its majority English-speaking residents often called by the shortened name, Kwaj. The total land area of the atoll amounts to just over 6 square miles (16 km2). It lies in the Ralik Chain, 2,100 nautical miles (3900 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Amata Kabua was the first President of the Marshall Islands from 1979 to 1996.
The Kingdom of EnenKio is a falsely claimed micronation near the Marshall Islands run by Robert Moore.
The indigenous peoples of Oceania are Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, Papuans and Australian Aboriginals. With the notable exceptions of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia and Guam, indigenous peoples make up the majority of the populations of Oceania.
Stick charts were made and used by the Marshallese to navigate the Pacific Ocean by canoe off the coast of the Marshall Islands. The charts represented major ocean swell patterns and the ways the islands disrupted those patterns, typically determined by sensing disruptions in ocean swells by islands during sea navigation. Most stick charts were made from the midribs of coconut fronds that were tied together to form an open framework. Island locations were represented by shells tied to the framework, or by the lashed junction of two or more sticks. The threads represented prevailing ocean surface wave-crests and directions they took as they approached islands and met other similar wave-crests formed by the ebb and flow of breakers. Individual charts varied so much in form and interpretation that the individual navigator who made the chart was the only person who could fully interpret and use it. The use of stick charts ended after World War II when new electronic technologies made navigation more accessible and travel among islands by canoe lessened.
Phillip H. McArthur is a folklorist and anthropologist. His work in the Marshall Islands and elsewhere in Micronesia closely examine notions of place in Micronesia, the Pacific Islands, and indeed the Marshallese's tumultuous relationship with the United States. Dr. McArthur has spent much of his career documenting and analyzing Marshallese narratives, folklore, songs, performances, etc.
Pacific Islander Americans are Americans who are of Pacific Islander ancestry. For its purposes, the U.S. Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group.
The culture of the Marshall Islands forms part of the wider culture of Micronesia. It is marked by pre-Western contact and the impact of that contact on its people afterward. The Marshall Islands were relatively isolated. Inhabitants developed skilled navigators, able to navigate by the currents to other atolls. Prior to close contact with Westerners, children went naked and men and women were topless, wearing only skirts made of mats of native materials.
Japanese settlement in the Marshall Islands was spurred on by Japanese trade in the Pacific region. The first Japanese explorers arrived in the Marshall Islands in the late 19th century, although permanent settlements were not established until the 1920s. As compared to other Micronesian islands in the South Seas Mandate, there were fewer Japanese who settled in the islands. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Japanese populace were repatriated to Japan, although people of mixed Japanese–Marshallese heritage remained behind. They form a sizeable minority in the Marshall Islands' populace, and are well represented in the corporate, public and political sectors in the country.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Marshall Islands may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in the Marshall Islands since 2005, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has been outlawed in all areas since 2019. Despite this, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples, as same-sex marriage and civil unions are not recognized.
Jack Adair Tobin, Ph.D. was an American anthropologist who devoted much of his life to the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Leroij Atama Zedkaia was the Marshallese paramount chief, or Leroijlaplap, of Majuro. Leroij Zedkaia spearheaded the movement to break the Marshall Islands away from the rest of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and form the independent Republic of the Marshall Islands. She was also the mother of Jurelang Zedkaia, who has served as the President of the Marshall Islands from 2009 to 2012. Leroij is a title by a female paramount chief, or Leroijlaplap, in the Marshall Islands.
William J. Swain has served as a diplomat of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations. He was also the translator of the Book of Mormon into the Marshallese language.
Marshall Islands Athletics, also known as Marshall Islands Athletics Federation (MIAF) is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Marshall Islands.
The Yapese people are a Micronesian ethnic group native to the main island of Yap. Under different administrative rules, Yapese culture has been influenced by Spanish, Japanese, German, and American cultures. Aspects of traditional Yapese culture are still important in modern Yapese culture.
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