Fiyangori Sonsorol State ma Faruyar
Sonsorol State fauw faruyar: Puro ma Melieli ma Fanna ma Dongosaro.
Faruyahar e hakapar nga e piye. Dongosaro faruyara erap dewa ma uwon e
mala dewo mael kameser nga Fanna ra e hapar dewa ebe detabo mael.
Faruyahar e hakapar nga dari na edamori wola rimebuhuye palepale
madirapari yaela sawo. Emire titin ba sawori fauryahar le hura mahowa
faruyael ma marahara efad ma uruteri marahara emire retetir ma uwawori
faruyaha ma urutar. Le lepahau ifiri hohor ma hafahorari uruteri
marahar ba le kkau ma ifil marahawe sapitohoil.
Sawori Sonsorol State emouduraho ramael ma fauluyael e tai weil le Panou.
Ramael ma fauluyael ra e fali weil lei Hatohobei ma lei Hotiwo ma lei
fiyangor ba matamowari yalemat hara la sawongini faruyahar ra lei Hotiwo,
sawori faruyeri Yap. Nga ira di tahura hale faruye meta. Palul
marahawe tarapari yalemat la dolu ba yalematahar le bitiwo ma Mohumohu.
Nga palul ladolu ba le bitiwo ma Wereyai. Nga para palul la dolu ba le
bitiwo ma Urutiu. E pipiye matari fiyangor nga urutar nga le dari dolu
ba yalematahar la bitiwo ma uwawori marahara faruyeri Yap. Palul
fiyango le dolu ba matamowari yalemat ra la sawongi Dongosaro le bitiwo
ma Mohumohu. Iyahara le raho Puro ra lei poduri Yap. Nga yahara le
raho Melieli ra le bitiwo ma wori faruyeri Wereyai hale Urutiu.
Iyer ra yari tamoni Melieli, Laturi
Melieli, Lawrence Ierago fiyango: Moduwe dewa ifiri marahawe matamowari
yalemat le bitiwo uwawori faruyahar nga mena matamowari uwa ra e
hadatiwo Dauhepit ma sawori imar ma marahara uuwar le birango Dongosaro
nga la weli ba e sawo leda talahi ngeri Puro. Etai miriyarai werimiliri
mena e yalerango Puro nga para deyau uwa ra e hadatiwo Maretaidou ma
uuwar lada bara yalerango. Eda wola (contest)
nipatari Dauhepit ma Maretaidou hale itou e uhorango Puro ba iye na ebe
faruyar a Puro. Maretaidou eda wini ifiri lepahaur ifiri baiyou.
Maretaidou e weli ba Dauhepit e riba hiriyeri war (hiriye ri wori taebas)
uwori piye eda keringatahe eda riba rango hiriye ri war iiye ifari yari
Dauhepit hiriye ba ebe weya me iiye e uhorango uwawori faruye eda uhori
riba hiriye ri war. Werimiliri mere Dauhepit eda talahi edara birango
eda sawongi Melieli. Mena Meyangari Dauhepit ma marahara palul uuwar
leda para talahi leda ra weli Hatohobei leda Sawongi. Mere sapir
Melieli ma Hatohobei eda pado mahori nipatael ifiri moduwe eda bito.
mo moduwe nga le pipiye sawori faruyahar. Ifiri hapurotaheri 19th
Century nga yael Siaman hahoyahoya edolu ba ewol dorungaladi yalemat
uwawori Puro ma Dongosaro. Wolael yalemat har uwawori hapari faruyahar
ehana ba yalemat le lepahau ifiri hohori marahara emire retetir ma
uwawori faruye uwawori faruyahar eda suya ba ebe pipiye yalemat le
sawongini faruyahar. Banasahu rapari teti tahuniye faruyahar e tawol
hauhuri teriye. E pipiye iih nimataw ma uwawori mmat, ma edapara pipiye
woru. Mangau ra rapar dewa mai ma usuhae ma fadol ma yam ma moruye ma
mohumohu. Nga ewol rutou ma uwanu. Nga bana iyahara faruye le hapar e
tai rapa faiya mangau. Mangau le fitehiya ba ebe miriyarai. Maare le
karango iih leda soolo nga le fangifengi. Faifire le fitehi maal nga la
umu hale la kuku mangau rani hessi ba e tawai matangat tamaur.
Hapauhuri mere nga rapari masumosul yalemat retiperi mena delari eraho
sahu ifiri kup eri mangau ma hawereweri mangau.
titini kaferment nga ifiri madirap 1885-1899 nga faruyeri Spanis ehada
titini hafatani faruyaha faruyeri Panou ma Sonsorol State retiperi
faruyeri yalemat. Ifiri taem har nga le pepiye sawori Sonsorol State ra
la puluye Captain O’keefe ba lei fitehiri usuri war boutu nga palul le
bita Yap nga para palul le bitiwo Manaquary ma Senebes ma Mapia ba lei
fitehiri kaburae. Nga retiperi 1950’s ifiri mena nga Kaferment eri
Indonesia e haditafariye faruyar ma ifiri Holland nga Kaferment eri US
Trust Territory eda tapangil palul wonoul yalemat har leda wehitafari
Retiperi madirap 1899-1914 nga faruyeri Siaman eda bara hada titini
hafatani faruyeri Panou retiperi faruyeri yalemat. Dewo tarapari yengi
ma tarapa nnawo e hasapa Puro ma Melieli. Le pipiye yalemat le made
ifiri sappari faruye nga palul le made ifiri dung ma hamatahi werimiliri
sappari faruye. Kaferment Siaman eda bitiwo hadilatahe sawori faruyahar
Haoror. Ifiri mena eda bitoho nga wonoul ma wonou noul marahar ra la
mori pipiyaraho nga rapael le pado yael sawongi wotawotari Eang ra emire
Retiperi madirap 1914-1945 nga faruyeri Sapan eda bara hada titini
hafatani faruyeri Panou retiperi faruyeri yalemat. Iyer na matamowari
yael sawori dewo faruye bitiwo leda sawongini faruyahar. Nga iyer na
matamowari yael sawori faruye hurayel para palul yalemat ma para dewo
matari ram ma para dewo matari hafatare ma uduweni fitehiri faruye.
Para dewo ra le da kkau fitehiri siobai ri fangifengiri iih ma fitehiri
periperi ma kkuperi ringgo.
Retiperi madirap har nga eda wol mo haluwouweri mauri ri faruyeri
yalemat. Banasahu hapari faruyahar ehamatahi dewa mireil yalemat
retiperi mauri. Etawol na lebe hamaroil irang nga kuperi mangau nga eda
para hamatahi dewa.
Werimiliri mo haluwouweri mauri ri faruyeri yalemat nga Panou ma
faruyahar leda mire ifari yari United Nations Trusteeship hafatare.
Sawori faruyahar le weli dewa mahori yari Navy ri Meriken ma yari
Meriken Territory Kaferment hafatare. Eda wola boutu ra ebitiwo nga
ebitahe ma uwawori faruyaha ra e katiwo sawori spitar ma tafeya ma
sawori haisiya ma mangau ma ufayel yalemat. Skur dewo fauluri kaul
riweisi nga dewo mengimengi taifou ra Kaferment ae e hadatiwo uwawori
faruyahar. Nga bana me eda maho fatani boutu yar bitiwo bitahe eda
suyafiye betaheil yalemat Panou (Haoror) ba le bita spitar nga palul le
bita skur. Retiperi madirap har 1970’s edaraho 1980’s nga le pipiye
dewa yalemat le bitahe Haoror nga palul le suya la daraho wori palul
faruye mairuhuri Panou ba la kupe fitehi ma skul.
1994 nga Panou eda dokurits ifiri Compact ari Free Association nipatar
ma Meriken nga faruyahar ma fauw leda sufangani leda raho ba Sonsorol
State ba dewo marahara deih ma worou state eri Panou. Sonsorol State
ewol yar state constitution ra sawori Sonsorol State le fitehiya.
Constitution ae e faulu kaferment eri Sonsorol State eda hawengari
kaferment eri Meriken ra e democracy nga e hasufanganiye ma moumou ri
faruyahar ma titini tamoni faruya ma fauluri faduri uduweni faruyahar.
Lanei nga sawori Sonsorol State e pado yael fauluni yarolari faruyael ma
moumouri faruyael ma uwori faruyahar. Palul ra lemire Haoror ma ni tawa
nga e padosahu yael fauluni marahara moumou faruyael.
Ethno-history of Sonsorol State and its islands.
(by Laura Ierago)
Sonsorol State is comprised of four islands: Pulo Anna (Puro),
Meriil (Melieli), Fanna, and Sonsorol (Dongosaro). These are small
sandy coral islands. Sonsorol, the largest is one mile in length and
Fanna, the smallest, is half a mile. Though the islands are small they
have been inhabited for at least 500 years. People on these islands
were known to have lived harmoniously with their islands’ environment
and thrived with their scarce natural resources through generation of
cultural knowledge and traditional knowledge and skills on sustainable
people of Sonsorol State speak a different language and practice a
different culture compared to the people of the main Palau archipelago.
The culture and language of these people are similar to that of the
neighboring State of Hatohobei as well as Outer Island Yap and Chuuk.
Legend has it that the first settlers to the islands came
from the Northeast, the islands of Yap. It is not clear exactly which
islands these people came from. Some of the elders say they came from
Mogmog, others say the Woleai group of islands while others even say
they came from the islands in the Ulithi Atoll. There are several
versions to the legend on the origin of the settlers of these islands.
However, all these versions agree that the first settlers to these
islands originated from different islands of Yap. According to a few of
these legends the first settlers on Sonsorol Island were from Mogmog.
The settlers on Pulo Anna originated from Yap Proper and settlers on
Meriil were either from the Woleai Islands or the Ulithi Atoll.
the first settlers according to Laturi Melieli, Lawrence Ierago, Chief
of Meriil Island:
In the prehistoric days when the first settlers arrived on these
islands, the first canoe, which carried Dauhepit, his family and crew,
landed on Sonsorol. Finding the island inhabited he sailed on to Pulo
Anna. Shortly after he landed on Pulo Anna, another boat carrying
Maretaidou and his crew arrived. A contest was carried out between the
two men to determine who first discovered the island and would therefore
be the rightful owner. Maretaidou won through his cleverness in
tricking Dauhepit to think that he came first. He did this by digging
up Dauhepit’s canoe mat which Dauhepit had buried in the sand as
evidence of his discovery, and then burying his canoe mat few feet below
it to make it look like he came and buried his first. Dauhepit
accepting loss, he sailed on to settle on Meriil. His sister sailed
farther South and settled on Hatohobei. The friendly and hospitable
relationship between Hatohobei and Meriil continued throughout the
history of both islands.
prehistoric days there were hundreds of people residing on the islands.
At the turn of the 19th Century the German census counted
more than 300 people on Pulo Anna and Sonsorol. With this number of
people on these small islands, people simply lived off the land and sea
for many generations of cultural knowledge of their environment and wise
usage of the available natural resources. The staple food of the
islands is mostly fish, fruits and root crops. With the large body of
ocean surrounding the islands, there were abundance of fish, reef fish,
shells, turtles and most often migratory fishes. Fruits are seasonal.
They are mostly coconut, breadfruit, and banana. Root crops are yams
(several types), moruye (Alocasia macrorrhizos-elephant ear
taro), and mohumohu (Tacca leontopetaloides-Pacific arrowroot).
With food sources in short supply, food products were prepared to last.
Nothing was wasted. Men go out fishing for the collective need of the
community. They apportion their catch to all households in their
respective villages. If there were surplus for a day’s family meal,
people prepared fish to last by smoking, salting and drying. Usually,
women gathered together to cook and prepare fruits and other root crops
to last as well. During the breadfruit season, men climbed to harvest
breadfruit while women prepared for family meals and preserved food
surpluses. Root crops were prepared in coconut syrup to make them last
longer. Earth oven (um) was also used for added flavor as well
as for lasting preservation of food. Apparently, the daily life on
these islands evolved mostly around food gathering, preparation, and
Politically governed by Palau, the Sonsorol State islands share Palau’s
history of foreign colonization and administration. During the Spanish
Administration (1885-1899) of Palau several Sonsorolese were
taken by Captain O’Keefe as his boat crew. Others were taken to Yap and
a few to Manaquary in Papua New Guinea as well as Celebes and Mapia in
the Indonesian Islands to work in copra industries. In the late 1950s,
during the takeover of the Celebes and Mapia islands by the Indonesian
government from the Dutch, the United States Trust Territory government
brought some of these people’s descendants back to Palau.
the German Administration (1899-1914) of the Palau islands, the
most significant event that occurred in the Sonsorol State islands was a
big typhoon that devastated Pulo Anna and Meriil. These islands were
totally washed out by strong winds and big waves. Many people died
during the typhoon and the famine that followed. The German
Administrators in Koror sent a boat, which evacuated people from both
islands and brought them to Koror. Their descendants continue to reside
in Eang, Koror and have grown significantly in number.
the Japanese Administration (1914-1945) the people in the
Sonsorol State islands were exposed to Japanese culture and militarism.
It was the first instance for foreigners to actually reside on a few of
the islands. At first the islanders were introduced to a different
culture, foreign language and leadership styles. In addition, they were
introduced to commercial production of smoked fish, sea cucumber (beche
de mer) as well as phosphate mining. When the World War II broke out,
practically all the islanders experienced adversities. Because the
islands are small, there were not many places to run and hide. For the
same reason, food forage was even harder.
war under the UN Trusteeship (1945-1994), the islanders enjoyed
better services from the US Navy and US Territory Government. Field
trip boats were sent regularly to visit the islands bringing with them
medical and dental services and much needed food and clothing
provisions. New concepts of formal education were also introduced to
the islanders. With the more regular field trips, people began to
travel more frequently to Koror for medical purposes and then for
educational reasons. In the 1970’s and 1980’s there was a significant
population migration trend to Koror and outside of Palau for “better
As Palau became an independent nation in 1994 under the
Compact of Free Association with the United States of America, these
four (4) islands were mutually joined to become Sonsorol State as one of
the sixteen States of the Republic. Mandated as a State under the Palau
Constitution, Sonsorol State formulated and adopted its State
Constitution. The State Constitution established a democratic form of
government, which incorporated the traditional leadership, local
customs, and culture of the islands that are appropriate in its island
governance. Today, the people of Sonsorol State continue to practice
their unique cultures and traditions on their islands, in Koror, and
outside of Palau.