An Ancient Culture
The Yapese have managed to maintain their ancient culture better than anywhere else in Micronesia. The heritage and traditions of the Yapese people are carefully nourished to preserve the Micronesian way of life.
Yapese culture centers around the village. Most Yapese still live in villages as their ancestors have for millennia. The contrast between old and new is sometimes staggering to the casual visitor, as well educated Yapese, fluent in English and with access to modern schooling and health care still prefer to lead their lives in the old fashioned way.
Village life is influenced by a caste system that is complex and full of subtle nuances a visitor can never hope to fully understand. Status and success in Yapese society can be gained in a variety of ways, but the acquisition of material wealth in western fashion is not one of them.
A shy, but gentle and friendly person, the Yapese welcome visitors from abroad. On our cultural tours, you will have the opportunity to visit a village and experience village life and traditions for yourself.
The Yapese have a strong tradition of chants and dances, often of ancient origin. The chants and dances always tell a story, and teaching them to each new generation is an important part of preserving the Yapese heritage. Be sure to check out our video clips of some traditional Yapese dances.
Magic and ritual have a strong influence on Yapese society. “The magic is strong in Yap” is a commonly held opinion throughout most of the western Pacific, where the Yapese are held in great esteem as great sorcerers and navigators.