The Island of Stone Money!

YaPeSe GoVeRnMeNt!

Yapese government is a hereditary chief system. It is Patriarchal. A chief is a born a chief. He is a chief if his father was a chief. But if a chief dies and has two sons, the older one will be the chief.

There are different kinds of chiefs. Some of them are chiefs of villages and some are chief of municipalities. Now here on Yap there are ten chiefs of different municipalities and many more for different villages. Each village has a chief. The municipality chief is called a high chief.

The chief of villages are the helpers of the High Chiefs. They help the High Chief discuss hard problems.

The High Chief had the right to know all the things that happen in his muncipality. If he doesn't agree with what a village has decided to do, they cannot do it. If they did it anyhow, many years ago the High Chief would tell the other village to fight that village. They could kill all the people and burn up all the houses in that village. No one else could say anything about these murders, for it was a High Chief's order.

The chiefs of villages and the High Chief get together and discuss important things. They discuss many ideas about things that would be good for all the poeple in all the villages. They discuss building Men's House and many more. At their discussion the chiefs of the villages listen to what the High Chief says. If he says, yes, then they know that they can do the thing. But if he says no, they know they won't do it.

A High Chief long ago didn't do any work. The low-caste people served him every meal. They also cleaned his yard. Whenever the High Chief wished to have something those low-caste people made it and gave it to him right away.

Thank You Very Much!

Wendell Setham