Music of the Marshall Islands

Last updated

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.

Marshall Islands country in Oceania

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 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The capital and largest city is Majuro.

Micronesia Subregion of Oceania

Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south.

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands United Nations trust territory in the western Pacific administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986

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.

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.

A chant is the iterative speaking or singing of words or sounds, often primarily on one or two main pitches called reciting tones. Chants may range from a simple melody involving a limited set of notes to highly complex musical structures, often including a great deal of repetition of musical subphrases, such as Great Responsories and Offertories of Gregorian chant. Chant may be considered speech, music, or a heightened or stylized form of speech. In the later Middle Ages some religious chant evolved into song.

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.

National anthem Song that represents a country or sovereign state

A national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America, Central Asia, and Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them ; their constituencies' songs are sometimes referred to as national anthems even though they are not sovereign states.

Forever Marshall Islands is the national anthem of the Marshall Islands. The music and lyrics were created by former President Amata Kabua. It was adopted in 1991.

Amata Kabua former President of the Marshall Islands

Amata Kabua was the first president of the Marshall Islands from 1979 to 1996.

Traditional dances

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.

Related Research Articles

History of the Marshall Islands aspect of history

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 atoll

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.

Pacific Islander indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands

Pacific Islanders or Pasifikas, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and often ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. These people speak various Austronesian languages. New Zealand has the largest concentration of Pacific Islanders in the world. However, the majority of its people are not identified as Pacific Islanders—instead during the 20th century and into the 21st century the country saw a steady stream of immigration from Polynesian countries such as Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue and French Polynesia.

Ebeye Island island in the United States of America

Ebeye is the most populous island of Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, as well as the center for Marshallese culture in the Ralik Chain of the archipelago. Settled on 80 acres of land, it has a population of more than 1500. Over 50% of the population is estimated to be under the age of 18.

Rongerik Atoll atoll

Rongerik Atoll or Rongdrik Atoll is a coral atoll of 17 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and is located in the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Bikini Atoll. Its total land area is only 1.68 square kilometres (0.65 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon of 144 square kilometres (56 sq mi).

Music of Tuvalu

The traditional music of Tuvalu consists of dances, including fatele, fakanau and fakaseasea. The influence of the Samoan missionaries sent to Tuvalu by the London Missionary Society from the 1860s resulted in the suppression of songs about the traditional religions or magic and many songs were lost. As the influence of the missionaries diminished in the 20th century the traditional dances were revived and the siva dance tradition from Samoa also became popular. The fatele, in its modern form, is performed at community events and to celebrate leaders and other prominent individuals.

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 Islands Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans or Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander Americans, are Americans who have ethnic ancestry among the indigenous peoples of Oceania. For its purposes, the U.S. Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group.

Index of Marshall Islands-related articles Wikimedia list article

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

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 Pacific 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.

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.

Marshallese Americans are Americans of Marshallese descent or a Marshallese naturalized in U.S. According to the 2010 census, 22,434 people of Marshallese origin live in the United States. This country has the largest population of Marshallese outside the Marshall Islands. Most of Marshallese live in Hawaii and Arkansas.

Marshall Islands Athletics

Marshall Islands Athletics, also known as Marshall Islands Athletics Federation (MIAF) is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Marshall Islands.

Yapese people ethnic group

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.

References