The Arts and Humanities of Micronesians

Support for the Arts-Arts and literature in the FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) receive very little government or private support. Exhibits of Micronesian art are rare and usually restricted to regional museums and universities. There is a trend, however, towards greater Micronesian participation in Pacific-wide art events, such as the Pacific Festival of Arts, held in various places in the South Pacific, and the Rarotonga Festival of Pacific Arts, held on Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Literature
Oral literature occupies a special place among the arts in Micronesian societies. Stories told and retold through generations transmit historical understandings, specialized knowledge, and the mores of society. Besides the work of foreign scholars, a number of Micronesians have recorded indigenous histories, myths, and folklore. In addition, regional publications commonly feature indigenous poets and writers.

Graphic Arts
Many of the skills required for the production of indigenous graphic art in the FSM have been lost. Canoe carving, once a highly evolved and valued art form, is largely forgotten among the young men who prefer to fish from fiberglass out-board motorboats. Western models have largely replaced indigenous architectural detailing and design. Tattooing was abandoned as a form of artistic expression in the postcontact era. Many of the more elaborate textiles are no longer produced, although women still fashion a large variety of woven and plaited goods. The Kapingamarangi in Pohnpei and the Chuukese also produce finely carved wooden crafts, mostly for sale to tourists.

Performance Arts
Both music and dance are very important modes of expression in Micronesian societies and often serve to transmit islander identity and commemorate history. Forms of musical expression vary from pre-Christian chants to popular genres such as reggae, hip-hop, and pop. Choral hymns sung in four-part harmony by church choirs are commonly performed during secular and church-related events. Indigenous chants and songs featuring complex rhythms, harmony, and metaphorical language in conjunction with various dance movements are often favored ways of expressing cultural affiliation during public celebrations.

Source:everyculture.com