Today there was a Los Angeles Times article about Yap Proper. It discusses the caste system on Yap, and slightly mischaracterizes this complex system as "virtual slavery." While there are definite and defining limitations on persons of lower-castes (and another set of restraints and guidelines for Outer Islanders) the article paints a rather simplistic picture. A "glass ceiling" analogy may be a more appropriate. For a detailed consideration see the book "The Demystification of Yap: Dialectics of Culture on a Micronesian Island" by David Labby.
The article notes that many low caste Yapese choose to relocate to either Guam or Hawaii in order to escape this system. Because of the economic disparity between the large island of Yap Proper and the much poorer Outer Islands, few of the Outer Islanders have this option.
Habele firmly believes that educational accomplishment and expanded choice are the best ways to move towards a more open and merit-based socio-economic system. For additional information on our scholarships for Outer Island students please click here.