Kosrae - Settlements

In aboriginal times, commoners lived in scattered clusters of houses averaging only about thirty to fifty people. The strong distinction between nobility and commoner was apparent in the residential segregation: noble families lived on the tiny Island of Lelu located in a small bay off the east coast. Their fine residences were surrounded by enormous stone walls built of layers of basalt crystals laid horizontally, reaching heights of 7.5 meters. Nobles, served by numerous retainers, lived within these magnificent courtyards, into which no commoner could set foot without permission. In the twentieth century, the pull of access to church, stores, and other services led to increased nucleation of settlement. Today most of the population lives in one of four concentrated villages. The ancient political center of Lelu remains the capital and Commercial center.

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