"YAP -- Where Tradition and Culture is King" State of Yap by Ekahau

State of Yap Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 42 photos

Culture of Yap

First of all the Culture of Micronesia is just as rich and interesting as those in Polynesia and Melanesia and right here in Yap the culture is really amazing. Yap is the most traditional of all of the Islands and they place a huge value on their culture, dance and art.


The State of Yap is part of the Federated State of Micronesia and is located in the Far Western end of the Caroline’s those Island that run east and west across the Pacific just north of the equator. This is the place of the exotic pacific island dancing and of huge hand carved stone money.

For those of you who are into literary connection Yap is the “setting” for the book "Island of the Sequined Love Nun" which was written by the well know absurdest author Christopher Moore and it is based partly on the author's own personal experiences in Yap.

Yapese Stone Money

Yap is such an amazing culture the first time I was in Yap the local legislature was debating preventing Yapese women from wearing traditional western cloths and from covering their breast.

There are 4 languages spoken on the Islands in the State of Yap, Yapese which is spoken on the Island of Yap and nearby Islands. In the Outer Islands the languages of Ulithian, Woleaian, and Satawalese are also spoken.

Because they were under Spanish, German, Japanese than USA control many older folks speak Japanese and I meet a few really old ones in the 1970s on my first visit that spoke German. However there is a mixture of a little of all the colonial languages in Yapese and the young people all went to school in English and that is the second language.

In Yapese culture dance and music is really important and this is really something special to see on your VT visit. The villages are divided into family groups and a large family group will have three types of dwellings the community house is the largest where everyone gets together to dance sing and count their stone money. Then the nuclear families each have a sleeping house finally there is the men’s club house. Also no kitchen cooking is outside in a separate covered area but not enclosed.

Rai or Yapese stone money, is still of value and exchanged on Yap they are about a foot or two wide and up to 12 feet with a hole in the middle used to carry it. The value is based on the type of stone the size how much risk went into getting it and the history of the Rai.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A top 10 diving spot --plus traditional culture
  • In a nutshell:exotic
  • Intro Updated Jul 9, 2007
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (6)

Comments (8)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    great tips

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2008 at 5:41 AM

    Great page! Interesting culture, stone money too! Traders' Ridge sounds terrific. Landing there would be an adventure! Wish I had a postcard from Yap!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:16 AM

    Very attracting and mysterious remote place! Thanks!

  • grishaV1's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    I remember reading about a culture whose money is large stones with holes in the centre, glad your page reminded me. Very nice page and interesting also!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2007 at 7:10 AM

    Paul, Incredible page of Yap. I enjoyed the video of local wardrobe and the underwater view of mantay ray was too much for me. Your homemade video? I got a postcard sent from Yap from VTer Chris1275 who went there last September. Cheers, SL :)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2007 at 6:48 PM

    The different cultures around the Pacific really are fascinating. Love the stone money, I guess the richest man needs a truck for his money! :)) Another really enjoyable page, Paul.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2007 at 1:07 PM

    Excellent page Paul! Great pics of the 'coins' - like 'Kinas' in Papua New Guinea. The Veranda View restaurant looks great, and the dancers reminded me of displays at PNG's South Pacific Festival of Arts ceremony!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2007 at 4:56 AM

    Gotta love this place, thanks for the tour Paul! So glad Yap has an airport. And what about that money, it's insane!! Great page here, you never fail to amaze me what small corners you have been to :-))


“""I have a hobby...I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over"”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 6 1
Forum Rank:
0 2 3 0 4

Badges & Stats in State of Yap

  • 6 Reviews
  • 16 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 4,986PageViews
  • 0 Cities

Have you been to State of Yap?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (4)