Yap, The westernmost state of Micronesia is, made up of four large and seven small islands plus another 134 Islets. There are four indigenous languages in Yap: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleian and Satawalese. English is the common language of the FSM and is commonly spoken and understood. Many elderly Yapese are fluent in Japanese. Home to approximately 650 people, the island of Ifaluk is powerfully traditional. In their cooperative culture, the men fish to supply the entire island, and there is no word for "anger." Dance is an art form in Yap. Through dance, legends are passed down, history is recorded and entertainment is created. The dances of Yap are raucous, colorful and well orchestrated. Men and women both start at an early age to learn this special Yap tradition. This traditional life carries into the villages where fishing, sailing and weaving are still important parts of everyday life. Grass skirts for the women and thu'us, a type of loincloth, for the men are the basic garbs in the small towns that sit in tranquil settings around the island.
The inhabitants of Ifaluk are the most traditional of all the Eastern Caroline Islands, and the inner lagoon is shallow and breathtakingly beautiful. The island's hard coral reefs and colorful drop-offs are enchanting. Sea anemones, soft corals and colorful gorgonian sea fans dot the walls. Sea turtles are seen at many sites around Ifaluk.
The reefs here are alive with colorful fish that will delight snorkelers. As you visit with villagers, you may learn of their unique methods of fishing, and see them perform some of the dances that constitute their highest art form.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the Federated States of Micronesia.