Identification. Kapingamarangi, one of the Polynesian outliers, is the southernmost atoll in the Eastern Caroline Islands of Micronesia. "Kiriniti" is a local rendering of the English "Greenwich."
Location. Located at 1°4′ N, 154°46′ E, the atoll consists of thirty-three flat islets forming a semicircle on an egg-shaped reef surrounding a central lagoon. Its total land area of 1.09 square kilometers supports a native vegetation of ninety-three different species of plants, but only five of these—breadfruit, coconuts, pandanus, Alocasia taro, and a nitrogen-fixing creeper—were useful as food. The average annual rainfall is 305 centimeters, but the atoll is subject to periodic drought, lasting from weeks to years.
Demography. The Kapingamarangi population fluctuated according to periods of adequate rainfall and extended drought, averaging about 450 people. Currently the population is much larger, with many Kapingamarangi living in Porakied village on Pohnpei.
Linguistic Affiliation. Kapingamarangi is a member of the Polynesian Family of Oceanic Austronesian languages. Most people speak at least one other language, including English, Japanese, and Pohnpeian.