Kapingamarangi Atoll - Federated States of Micronesia

This is the largest island Kapingamarangi is an atoll in the Eastern Caroline group and part of the state of Pohnpei of the Federated States of Micronesia. It is by far the most southerly atoll or island of the country and of Micronesia and of the Caroline Islands, 300km south of the next southerly atoll, Nukuoro, and 740km southwest of the main island of Pohnpei state. Kapingamarangi has a population of about 500 and their language is Polynesian. The main industry is fishing. The land area is spread over 30 wooded islets on the eastern side of the atoll and the western reef rim of the atoll is almost submerged at high water. Touhou Island, which reaches a height 35 meters is connected to Veilua Island (Ueru Island) in the north by a causeway. It is the capital of the region and the home of a native chief. Most of the population resides on these two islets, plus on Taringa (south of Touhou), although many of the remaining islets are used for growing fruit and vegetables. The Kapingamarangans refer to themselves as "Kirinese" and are known for their handicrafts, with the men carving and the women weaving. They typically carve various trinkets out of the flesh of an ivory nut. They are also well known for their shark carvings, wall hangings, mobiles, woven mats and shell jewelry. The Federated States of Micronesia comprise Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap, four island states of more than 600 tiny islands and atolls, stretching almost the entire width of Micronesia, 1,800 miles across the western Pacific from east to west. Each speaks its own language with its own distinctive culture, traditions and history.