The inhabitants of the Truk Islands: religion, life and a short grammar of a Micronesian people

AschendorffMunster I W. • Published In 1927 • Pages:

By: Bollig, Laurentius.

This monograph presents a detailed account of Chuukese ethnography collected and compiled by the author, a Capuchin missionary, from his own observations and supplemented by data from the older islanders concerning former conditions prior to European-Japanese contacts. The work is divided into three parts, the first of which deals with various aspects of Chuukese religion, and the second, entitled 'Land and People,' with other aspects of ethnography, as for example, child rearing, marriage customs, warfare, tribal organization, property, the sailing canoe, various forms of manufacture, fishing, food preparation, weaving, dancing, the men's house, illness, omens, ordering of time, language, physical descriptions of the population, geography, culture history and stories and tales. The organization of the monograph is rather unusual, reflecting perhaps the author's primary field of interest, with the first 91 pages being devoted to an intensive study of native religion -- cosmology, mythology, spirits and gods, relations of spirits to man, and the various functionaries in the society whose roles are religiously oriented -- while the ethnographic data which follow in part II, following p. 91, are more or less haphazardly put together so that, for example, geography and culture history which generally precede the bulk of material in most monographs, in this case will be found near the end of the source. The actual data are nevertheless fairly comprehensive in the general coverage of material culture and certain aspects of social and political organization, but lack specific information in regard to the social and political structure of Chuukese society, as well as kinship. The analysis of religion is outstanding.
Literary texts
Religious beliefs
Religious practices
HRAF PubDate
Sub Region
Document Type
Creator Type
Document Rating
5: Excellent Primary Data
John Beierle ; 1968
Field Date
ca. 1912 - ca. 1920
Coverage Date
Coverage Place
Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia
P. Laurentius Bollig
The role of SOURONG, a class of individuals who possessed various arts and skills obtained from the spirits, has been indexed for Friendship (571), while the concept of the arts and skills themselves, the RONG, has been indexed for Incorporeal Property (424) and Sacred Objects and Places (778).
Translation of: Die Bewohner der Truk-Inseln. Religion, Leben und kurze Grammatok eines Mikronesiervolkes
The original German text is not included
Translated from the German in 1942 for the Yale Cross-Cultural Survey in connection with the Navy Pacific Islands Handbook Project. Pp. 257-287 of the original, the short grammar, and the index were not translated
Trukese (Micronesian people)