Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

Chuuk (Truk) is located in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia and forms one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. Chuuk was settled by the first century AD In the fourteenth century, a cult center was established on Moen Island. In more recent times Chuuk was occupied first by Germany, then Japan, and finally the United States. The Chuuk practice swidden agriculture with breadfruit and wet taro as staples. Fishing is also important and copra is the only export.


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Oceania --Micronesia


Federated States of Micronesia

OWC Code


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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in this eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Chuuk file contains 30 documents. Most of the documents are based on research carried out during and after the 1947-1948 Coordinated Investigation of Micronesian Anthropology project. An earlier work by a German missionary covers a variety of subjects including religion, language, and material culture (Bollig 1927, no. 22.) Material and technological aspects of Chuuk culture covered in the file include descriptions of Chuuk artifacts (LeBar 1963, no.3), canoe travel (Gladwin 1958, no. 20), and taro cultivation (Mahony 1960, no. 37.) An article on Chuuk medical concepts is also included (Mahony 1970, no. 25.) Discussions on sociopolitical organization and property are found in W. Goodenough (1951, no.1), LeBar (1964, no. 19), and J. Fischer (1958, no. 36.) W. Goodenough also looks at native astronomy (1953, no. 18), changes in property relations (1974, no. 30), and Chuuk origins (1986, no. 31.) Other works on social relationships include studies of friendship (Marshall, M. 1977, no. 32), siblingship (Marshall, M. 1981, no.34), and the use of social relationships in the mobilization of labor (Swartz 1962, no. 13.) An historical perspective is found in studies of the educational system under the Japanese (Fischer, J. 1961, no. 28), and on Chuuk personality and patterns of authority in relation to colonization (Swartz 1965, no. 40.) Other works on personality include an analysis of Chuuk personality (Gladwin and Sarason 1954, no. 2), and Chuuk character and prestige (Caughey 1977, no. 26.) Discussions of cultural change are found in studies of change in patterns of adoption (Goodenough, R. 1970, no. 29), infant feeding practices (Marshall, M. and L. 1984, no 43), and fertility (Marshall, L. 1982, no. 38.) Several works focus on the serious social problems of alcoholism (Marshall, M. 1979, 1988, nos. 33 and 39; Marshall, M. and L. 1990, no. 35), and suicide (Hezel 1984, 1987, nos. 41 and 42.) Other topics explored are sexual behavior and relationships (Swartz 1958, no. 12; Goodenough, W. 1949, no. 21) and ideas about sexual reproduction (Fischer, A. 1963, no. 23.) For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

This culture summary is from the article 'Truk,' by Ward H. Goodenough, in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. 2. 1991. Terence E. Hays, ed. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall & Co. The synopsis was written by Ian Skoggard, 1997.

Overview by

Ian Skoggard

AMWUNUMWUN--a strategy of withdrawal and self-abasement--154

CHIACHI--companion or acquaintance--573

first fruits--annual gift of food in exchange for usufruct--651, 423

EFEKUR--lineage children and heirs--613, 423

ETEREKES--lineages and sublineages--613

FANAG--hearth, a lineage with full political and landholding rights--423, 613


MÄÄRÄÄR--friendship ties--572

PPWÚN--grants of soil--423

PWIIPWI--created sibling bond--608

RONG--424, 778




SOUPUP (SOUDILIK)--fortuneteller--791


SOWUPPWÚN--lord of the soil, person who exercised authority over lineage's landholdings--423, 613


WUUT (UUT)--meeting house, or men's house--344

Indexing Notes by

Ian Skoggard

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