“There is no place like home”

Migration and Cultural Identity of the Sonsorolese, Micronesia

The remote island of Sonsorol with its unique culture and language belongs to the Micronesian archipelago Palau in the Western Pacific. Based on intensive multi-sited fieldwork, this comprehensive ethnography analyzes the social transformation of a small island community caused by migration of a large number of its members. Long journeys with their outrigger canoes have always been cultural practice of the Sonsorolese people.

Today, caused by global processes, their world has broadened and they move to destinations such as Guam, Saipan or the USA – faraway places that sometimes become a permanent home. In these even smaller dispersed communities in mostly urban centers, notions of home, belonging and nation take on new significance. Following their routes and footsteps, the author explores how mobility and change affect their cultural identity. In their own words, the Sonsorolese express their motifs, hopes and experiences and are shown as active decision makers in a changing world.


Lin Poyer in: Anthropos, 113.1 (2018), 348f

Jack David Eller in: Anthropology Review Database, Febr 2nd 2017, URL: http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/cgi/showme.cgi?keycode=7001

Inhalt (PDF 23kB)