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Serial Article

DOI data
DOI 10.23791/581927

Journal Data

Full Title
Pacific Geographies
Publisher (01) Association of Pacific Studies
Country of publication Germany (DE)
ISSN 2196-1468
Product Form Printed Journal (JB)
ISSN 2199-9104
Product Form Online Journal (JD)
Epub Format PDF (02)

Journal Issue Data
Journal Issue Number 58
Journal Issue Date (YYYY) 2022
Serial Article Data
Title “Deep in their hearts they still wanna come back” – Sonsorolese people in motion and the implications on culture and identity
By (author) (A01) Stephanie Walda-Mandel
Affiliation Übersee-Museum Bremen, Stiftung öffentlichen Rechts, Sachgebietsleitung Ozeanien und Amerikas, Bahnh
Number of Pages 9
First Page 19
Last Page 27
Language of text English (eng)
Publication Date (YYYY) 2022
Main description (01)
The island of Sonsorol, one of the Soutwhest Islands of the Palauan archipelago, is located about 340 kilometers south of the main Palauan islands in western Micronesia. Its unique culture and language, which the islanders have developed far away from the rest of Palau, set them apart from the main Palauan population, since they are linguistically and culturally related to the people from the outer islands of Yap and the Caroline Islands. At the same time, their isolated location leads to heavy migration to other Pacific Islands such as Saipan, Hawai’i or even to the US mainland. In the past, the people of the Southwest Islands already set out for other island groups with their outrigger boats, but today this happens with a different motivation and in larger numbers. However, despite large spatial distance, their transnational family networks retain their importance even when the Sonsorolese chain migration movements lead to cultural and social transformations both on the home island and in the Sonsorolese communities in the diaspora, which also have an impact on their identity. To preserve their cultural heritage in the context of migration and globalization, cultural revitalisation projects play a significant role in people’s lives.