Caroline Islands

Caroline Islands

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The Caroline Islands (Islas Carolinas in Spanish) are a widely scattered archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, to the north of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

 in the eastern part of the group, and Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

 at the extreme western end. Historically, this area was also called Nuevas Filipinas or New Philippines as they were part of the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 and governed from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Description


The group consists of about 500 small coral island
Coral island
A coral island is the result of an atoll whose lagoon has dried up or been filled in with coral sand and detritus. This state is typically the last in the life cycle of an island, the first being volcanic and the second being an atoll. Most of the world's coral islands are in the Pacific Ocean...

s, east of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, in the Pacific Ocean; the distance from Manila to Yap
Yap
Yap, also known as Wa'ab by locals, is an island in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It is a state of the Federated States of Micronesia. Yap's indigenous cultures and traditions are still strong compared to other neighboring islands. The island of Yap actually consists of four...

, one of the larger islands of the group, is 1200 miles.

Most of the islands comprise low, flat coral atolls
Atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...

, but some rise high above sea level.

People and culture


The native inhabitants speak a variety of Micronesian languages
Micronesian languages
The family of Micronesian languages is a branch of the Oceanic languages. It consists of twenty languages, the nineteen Micronesian Proper languages and Nauruan...

 including Yapese
Yapese language
Yapese is a language spoken by the people on the island of Yap .It belongs to the Austronesian languages, more specifically to the Oceanic languages...

, Pohnpeian
Pohnpeian language
Pohnpeian or Ponapean is a Micronesian language spoken mostly on the island of Pohnpei and the Caroline Islands. Pohnpeian has about 22,000 speakers. It is the major language of Pohnpei State . Ngatikese, Pingelapese and Mokilese are counted as dialects of Pohnpeian or as closely related languages...

, Chuukese
Chuukese language
Chuukese is a Trukic language of the Austronesian language family spoken primarily on the islands of Chuuk in the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. There are some speakers on Pohnpei and Guam as well...

, Carolinian
Carolinian language
Carolinian is an Austronesian language spoken in the Northern Mariana Islands, where it is an official language along with English and Chamorro. Spoken mostly by the Carolinian people, Carolinian is most closely related to Satawalese, Woleaian, and Puluwatese...

 and Kosraean
Kosraean language
Kosraean, also sometimes called Kusaiean, is the language spoken on the islands of Kosrae , Caroline Islands, and Nauru. In 2001 there were approximately 8,000 speakers....

, as well as the Western Malayo-Polynesian language Palauan
Palauan language
Palauan is one of the two nationally recognized official languages spoken in the Republic of Palau...

. Other significant populations include Filipinos
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 and Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

.

The natives live mainly by horticulture and fishing, also supplementing their diet with many different varieties of bananas and taro
Taro
Taro is a common name for the corms and tubers of several plants in the family Araceae . Of these, Colocasia esculenta is the most widely cultivated, and is the subject of this article. More specifically, this article describes the 'dasheen' form of taro; another variety is called eddoe.Taro is...

, either of the "swamp" or "purple" varieties. On some islands housing continues to be built with local materials including coconut thatch. The language spoken in commerce is English, but there are several indigenous languages. They traditionally believe in a Supreme Being (Yalafar) and in a bad spirit (Can), yet they have hardly any religious rites. Due to extensive missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 work, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is the primary religion practiced in this region of Micronesia
Micronesia
Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the east. The Philippines lie to the west, and Indonesia to the southwest....

.

History


It took about five stopovers by five different European ships before the name "Islas de Carolina" was used to refer to the stretch of islands located south of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

. The name finally stuck when in 1686, a Spaniard by the name of Francisco Lazcano, named them after King Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

 who funded the expedition.

Some few Western travellers subsequently visited the islands, but an early visit of missionaries (1732) resulted in one of several murderous attacks on the newcomers; and only in 1875 did Spain, claiming the group, make some attempt to assert her rights. The Caroline Islands were subsequently placed under the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

, administered from the Philippines. Germany, which had occupied Yap, disputed the Spanish claim, and the matter went to the arbitration of Pope Leo XIII in 1885. He decided in favor of Spain, but gave Germany free trading rights. The Spanish did not occupy any island formally until 1886.

Then in 1899 in the German-Spanish Treaty (1899)
German-Spanish Treaty (1899)
The German–Spanish Treaty of 1899 was a treaty between the German Empire and Kingdom of Spain, with the latter selling the remainder of its Pacific Ocean islands to Germany for 25 million pesetas or respectively 17 million Marks.-History:...

, as a consequence of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 of 1898, Spain sold the islands to Germany for 25,000,000 pesetas or respectively 17 million goldmark
German gold mark
The Goldmark was the currency used in the German Empire from 1873 to 1914.-History:Before unification, the different German states issued a variety of different currencies, though most were linked to the Vereinsthaler, a silver coin containing 16⅔ grams of pure silver...

 (nearly 1,000,000 pounds sterling), which administered them as Karolinen, administratively associated with German New Guinea
German New Guinea
German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

.

Japan occupied the islands in 1914 and received a League of Nations mandate
League of Nations mandate
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

 over them in 1920. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Japan had a large base at Truk Lagoon
Truk Lagoon
Truk Lagoon, also known as Chuuk, is a sheltered body of water in the central Pacific. North of New Guinea, it is located mid-ocean at 7 degrees North latitude. The atoll consists of a protective reef, around, enclosing a natural harbour 79 by 50 kilometres , with an area of . It has a land...

, which the Allies effectively neutralized in Operation Hailstone
Operation Hailstone
Operation Hailstone was a massive naval air and surface attack launched on February 17–18, 1944, during World War II by the United States Navy against the Japanese naval and air base at Truk in the Caroline Islands, a pre-war Japanese territory.-Background:Truk was a major Japanese logistical base...

. After the war, the islands became trust territories of the United States, eventually gaining independence (1986 / 1994).

Colonial governors or officers



District officers (from 1889, styled Bezirksamtmann
Bezirksamtmann
Bezirksamtmann is a German administrative title of gubernatorial or lower rank, roughly translating as and equivalent to District Officer-Colonial use:...

):

In the western Caroline islands (Yap and Palau [and from 1907 Saipan])
  • 29 June 1886 – 18??, Manuel de Elisa
  • before November 1897 – after November 1898, S. Cortes
  • 1899–1909, Arno Senfft (b. 1864 – d. 1909)
  • 1909–19??, Rudolf Karlowa
  • 1909–1910, Georg Fritz
  • 1910–1911, Hermann Kersting
  • 1911–1914, Baumert


In the Eastern Caroline islands (Ponape
Pohnpei
Not to be confused with Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed by Vesuvius in AD 79.Pohnpei "upon a stone altar " is the name of one of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia , situated among the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands group...

 [and from 1911 Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

])-
  • June 1886 – 1887 Capriles
  • 14 March 1887 – 1887, Isidro Posadillo (d. 1887)
  • October 1887 – January 1891, Luis Cadarso y Rey (d. 1898)
  • c.1894, Concha
  • before November 1897 – after November 1898, J. Fernandez de Cordoba
  • 12 October 1899 – August 1901, Albert Hahl (b. 1868 – d. 1945)
  • 1 September 1901 – 30 April 1907, Victor Berg (b. 1861 – d. 1907)
  • 1907–1908?, Max Girschner (acting)
  • 1908–1909, Georg Fritz
  • 1909 – 18 October 1910, Gustav Boeder (d. 1910)
  • 1910 – 7 October 1914, August Überhorst

Ecclesiastical history


Two Jesuits, John Anthony Cantova and Victor Walter, attempted missionary work there in 1731; the former was soon murdered, the latter obliged to flee. Two other Jesuits were killed later. In 1767 the Jesuits were suppressed in the Spanish dominions, and during the next 120 years there is no trace of a missionary.

The controversy between Germany and Spain concerning the possession of the Carolines having been settled by Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

 in favour of Spain, the king directed Spanish Capuchins
Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri.-Origins :...

 to the islands, 15 March 1886, and the Propaganda Fide officially established that mission, 15 May 1886, dividing it into two sections, named West and East Carolines respectively. Until then the islands had belonged ecclesiastically to the Vicariate Apostolic of Micronesia. The Spanish Capuchins had a catechism
Catechism
A catechism , i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present...

 and prayer book printed in the Ponape dialect, and Father Anthony of Valentia wrote a small grammar and dictionary of the Yap dialect in 1890.

When the Spanish Fathers had laid the foundations of the mission, these islands passed by purchase into the hands of Germany in 1899.
Spain had contributed more than $5000 a year towards the mission; Germany granted no support. Spain had compelled the aborigines to send their children to school; Germany gave full liberty in this regard, and the people consequently began to neglect school as well as church. The mission thereby suffered greatly, and the Propaganda Fide finally deemed it advisable to replace the Spanish Capuchins with others of German nationality (7 November 1904) and to erect one Apostolic prefecture instead of the two separate missions (18 December 1905). The Very Reverend Father Venantius of Prechtal
Elzach
Elzach is a town in the district of Emmendingen, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the river Elz, 26 km northeast of Freiburg.-Twin towns:Elzach is a town in the district of Emmendingen, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany...

, Germany was appointed first prefect Apostolic.

In 1906 twelve fathers and twelve brothers were working in thirteen stations, and several Sisters of St. Francis
Sisters of St. Francis
Sisters of St. Francis can refer to:* Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc., now named Franciscan Alliance, Inc.* Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi* Sisters of St Francis of the Martyr St George* Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis...

 left Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 to take charge of the ten schools, in which were 262 children. Ninety adult converts were the harvest of that year, and the Catholic population is given as 1900 among 11,600 heathens and a few Protestants. The United States Government sent, 1 July 1905, a Jesuit from the observatory at Manila to erect a meteorological station on the island of Yap, of which station the Capuchin Father Callistus was appointed director. The origin of the East-Asiatic
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 typhoons had been traced to these regions, and twice a day observations are made, and notice is frequently given to Manila by cable.

Postage stamps


During the period of German control, Germany issued postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s for the islands; see postage stamps and postal history of the Caroline Islands
Postage stamps and postal history of the Caroline Islands
Early mail sent to and from the Caroline Islands was occasional and dependent on visiting ships; the Spanish authorities issued no postage stamps or postmarks for the islands.-German control:...

for more details.