Also known as: Aramsen Chuuk; Truukese; Trukese

Chuuk (or 'Truk') is a complex atoll consisting of a ring of coral islets surrounding a cluster of volcanic high islands. Prior to the adoption of Christianity in the early twentieth century, the Chuukese worshipped a wide array of supernatural agents, including 'sky gods' and deified high chiefs.

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Traditional Culture(1902)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 114-118, 335
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 83-122
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 134-178
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 134-178
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 83-122, 156-178, 192-209

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 135

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 91, 133-155
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 133-155
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 123-132
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 123-132
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 88, 91-122, 156-320,

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 86

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 298
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 298-299
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 249

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 72-73
Mana linked to genealogy Present, linked to both paternal and maternal lines (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 30-31, 72-73, 126
Mana and social status Moderately associated (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 72-73
Mana as a personal quality Present (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 72-73
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 273-289
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Bollig (1927), pp. 35-36
Largest religious community Larger than a local community, smaller than the society (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 156-320
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 156-320

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 336-362
Scarification Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 361
Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 343-344
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 360-361
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 336-362
Social Environment +
Population 12000 (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 18
Population of largest political community 1,000-9,999 (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 18, 38
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 30
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 30
Kinship system Crow (Source)
Goodenough (1991), pp. 352
Marital residence Matrilocal or uxorilocal - with wife's kin (Source)
Goodenough (1991), pp. 352

Conflict

(No) external warfare Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Bollig (1927), pp. 113-123
Younger (2009)
Conflict within community Endemic (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 273
Younger (2009), pp. 148
(No) internal warfare Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Bollig (1927), pp. 113-123
Younger (2009)
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Goodenough (1991), pp. 352
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 68.2 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Micronesia) (2014)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 2242.0 (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. xiv, 18
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Hezel (1973)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 107
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 20
Lebar (1948), pp. 192-193
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 20
Lebar (1948), pp. 132
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 117-226, 122, 123
Goodenough (2002), pp. 20-21
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 20
Lebar (1948), pp. 132
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Goodenough (1991), pp. 352
Goodenough (2002), pp. 20

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 19
Lebar (1948), pp. 138-191, 192-193
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 19
Lebar (1948), pp. 138-191, 192-193
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Lebar (1948), pp. 192-193

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 26
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Lebar (1948)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Four or more (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 17

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Goodenough (2002), pp. 17
Buden et al (2005), pp. 97
Island Size (km²) 34.2 (Source)
Buden et al (2005), pp. 97
Maximum elevation (meters) 443.0 (Source)
Buden et al (2005), pp. 97

Location

Latitude 7.3 (Source)
Buden et al (2005)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 151.6 (Source)
Buden et al (2005)
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1902-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 44
Dietrich (2011), pp. 71-72
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 44
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 44
Dietrich (2011), pp. 71-72

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Dietrich (2011)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 44
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Foster & Hezel (2020)
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Foster & Hezel (2020), pp. 68

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Young et al (1997)
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Young et al (1997), pp. 2, 49

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Foster & Kiste (2020)
Air travel Present and long-distance (Source)
Foster & Hezel (2020)
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 178

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 39-45
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Gladwin (1953), pp. 39-45
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism High: (Source)
Dietrich (2011), pp. 62-64, 72
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Dietrich (2011), pp. 64-65
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Bollig, P. L. (1927). The Inhabitants of the Chuuk Islands: Religion, Life, and a Short Grammar of a Micronesian People. Munster, Germany: Aschendorff. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Oceania/OR19%27%29&docId=or19-022&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP

Buden, D.W., Sands, D.P. & Tennent, W.J. (2005). New Records of Butterflies (Lepidoptera) from the Eastern Caroline Islands, Micronesia. Pacific Science, 59 (1), 97-103. DOI: 10.1353/psc.2005.0003

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Dietrich, B. (2011). Voices from Under the Garland: Singing, Christianity and Cultural Transformations in Chuuk, Micronesia. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 43, 62-88. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5921/yeartradmusi.43.0062.

Ethnologue (Map of Federated States of Micronesia). (2014). Papua New Guinea, Map 12. Ethnologue. Retrieved from https://www.ethnologue.com/map/FM

Foster, S. & Hezel, F. X. (2020). Micronesia. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Micronesia-republic-Pacific-Ocean.

Foster, S. and Kiste, R. C. (2020). Wallis and Futuna. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Wallis-and-Futuna.

Gladwin, T. (1953). Truk: Man in Paradise. New York, NY: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Oceania/OR19%27%29&docId=or19-002&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP

Goodenough, W. H. (2002). Under Heaven's Brow: Pre-Christian Religious Tradition in Chuuk. PA: American Philosophical Society.

Goodenough, W.H. (1991). "Truk". In Hays, T. (Ed), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania). New York: G.K. Hall & Co. (351-354).

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Hezel, F. X. (1973). The Beginnings of Foreign Contact with Truk. The Journal of Pacific History, 8 (1), 51-73. DOI: 10.1080/00223347308572223

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Lebar, F. (1948). The Material Culture of Truk. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Oceania/OR19%27%29&docId=or19-003&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP.

Marshall M. & Marshall L. (1990). Silent voices speak: women and prohibition in Truk. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Young, J. A., Rosenberger, N. R., & Harding, J. R. (1997). Truk Ethnography. San Francisco, CA: U.S. Park Service.

Younger, S. M. (2009). Violence and Warfare in the Pre-Contact Caroline Islands. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 118 (2), 135-164. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20707479