Traditional Canoes in the Caroline Islands

Habele directors and volunteers have been working to support young men from the Atoll of Lamotrek living on Yap Proper. Yap is the state capital of one of four states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). A club was organized in November of 2011, with weekly meetings in Gargey. The group has set itself very ambitious goals.

Working with elders from the Outer Island community on Yap, club members have put coconuts husks to sea, which will be ready for local twine rope making by early 2012. They also started carving a mid size traditional dugout canoe, building towards the goal of initiating the creation a second, much larger canoe by mid 2012. Habele donors will help bear the costs of sending traditional building materials and tools from Lamotrek to Yap and back on the state owned cargo ship to facilitate the process.

The islanders participating understand that Neighboring Island migration to the center (Yap Proper and the other four state capitals) continues to grow at a staggering rate. Most often, children and grandchildren of these migrants do not experience the typical Outer Island men's house experiences. The result is both a concrete loss of specific and specialized skills passed down through such meetings, and the distinctive Outer Island cultural identity that flow from them.