They are closely related to the Polynesians , with the Micronesians having darker skin.
Their culture is strongly influenced by the surrounding cultures. In the east one finds a more Polynesian culture (with chiefdom ) and in the west more a Melanesian - Indonesian influenced culture with chiefdom without nobility, with the Marianas being an exception.
Today, many different ethnic groups make up the people of Micronesia, but all of them are descendants of the Micronesian culture and still belong to it. The Micronesian culture was one of the last original cultures in the region to produce it. It originated from a mixture of Melanesian, Polynesian and Filipino cultures. A good example are the Yapese, who on the one hand were settled from the area around Malaysia and whose language is derived from Malay and on the other hand share cultural similarities with the Melanesian peoples of the Admiralty Islands .
The lack of matching characteristics or the overlap of neighboring cultures is the criterion for the Micronesia cultural area .
As expected, the traditional religions of Micronesia were also extremely heterogeneous. However, very little is known about most of them because the islands very early (16th to 18th century) missionary catholic were they that were able to keep on only a few islands. However, some important manifestations of religious action and thought can be identified for the entire space:
- Similar creation myths (origin of people from mythical ancestors - mostly ancestral wives)
- Cultural heroes (mythical seafarers as bearers of important cultural goods)
- Mythical worldviews (land and sea areas in different "layers" and directions)
- Dualistic ideas (every material thing and every living being has a spiritual double)
- Human free soul (can leave the body in a dream)
- Mana (transcendent power, which can be transferred to people, but also to natural phenomena, through performance and deeds, among other things)
- Religiously motivated art styles (carvings on men's houses and cult facilities)
According to the ongoing surveys by the evangelical-fundamentalist conversion network Joshua Project , only 0 to 3% of most Microneses confess to their religious traditions. Exceptions are only 20% of the 600 Ngatik and 15% of the 9,000 Yapese.
- Corinna Erckenbrecht: Traditional Religions. In: Harenberg Lexicon of Religions. Harenberg, Dortmund 2002, ISBN 3-611-01060-X . Pp. 942-943.
- Joshua Project: Micronesia, Federated States ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Individual query of all islands), accessed on April 1, 2016.