Ulithi - Orientation



Identification. Ulithians are Micronesians living on an atoll in the west-central Caroline Islands. While the natives refer to their land as "Ma Ulithi," Europeans have applied other names to their islands: Isles de Sequeira, Los Dolores, Los Garbanzos, Mackenzie, and Mogmog. The Japanese call them "Ulissi" and "Urishi." Their culture has undergone strong change since the atoll came under U.S. control in 1944 and can best be described in terms of its traditional Culture, with observations as to current modifications- Location. The atoll, which is not really one entity but is made of four geologic units, is located at about 10° N and 140° E. Its dosest neighbors are Yap and Ngulu to the west and Fais to the east. Guam is about 640 kilometers to the northeast. The climate is that of the doldrums belt, with much rainfall and high humidity.

Demography. In 1731 Father Cantova reported a population of 592, in 1870 Tetens and Kubary counted about 700, and in 1903 District Officer Senfft reported 797, after which there was a steady decline, with a census by Lessa showing only 421 in 1949. Then, as the result of U.S. medical and public health measures, there was an upswing, with a census by Lessa showing 514 people in 1960.

Linguistic Affiliation. The language is a dialect of Trukese, a subdivision of the far-flung Austronesian languages.

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