National Geographic : 1942 Jun
Hidden Key to the Pacific next day, a Japanese gentleman at the rail said mournfully, "The largest and finest of all these islands. And not used!" Well, Japan now has Guam, but is too busy to use it. Here It Is Always June Dozens of other is lands make up the han dle of the ax. But let us now examine the point where the handle meets blade. Here the island chain whose main trend is north and south joins the great east-west chain of the Carolines. Rich and beautiful islands by the hun dreds make up the mid dle of the two-edged ax head. Many of them are high and hilly, gorgeously plumed with tall coco nut palms, great bread fruit giants whose many-fingered leaves throw grotesque clutch ing shadows on the moonlit paths, gigantic mangoes casting a shade so dense that there is darkness at Pigs Are Pets Among the Kanakas of Yap The pink squealers are special favorites of the island's women. Yap has few animals. Principal predatory kinds are huge bats, cat-sized rats, and noonday under their robber crabs with claw low-hanging branches. Fruit hangs heavy on the wild banana plants, the papaya and orange trees. The green slopes are sharply accented here and there by crimson hibiscus and purple bougain villea. Passengers on incoming ships are wel comed a mile off, if the wind is right, by the exotic perfume of flowering jasmine-or of fermenting copra! Although these islands are close to the Equa tor, there is no excessive heat. The tempera ture usually ranges in the eighties all the year round. The surrounding sea tempers the heat. The natives cannot measure time by seasons -there are none. Spring, summer, autumn, winter are replaced by everlasting June. Vegetation flourishes throughout the year and there are always fish in the sea. 's a foot or more long. There are, however, two seasons of a sort. For six months the trade wind blows from the east and for six months from the west. There fore the islanders speak of the "East Wind Year" and the "West Wind Year." In Spanish times missionaries of the Amer ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions came from Boston, put long gowns on the women, taught the men to stop chew ing betel nut, and did many other things much more useful than these (page 775). Their place was largely taken during the German regime by German missionaries, some of whom still remain during the Japanese oc cupation. But even they will go. Japanese missionaries of the Christian, Buddhist, and Shinto faiths now seek to guide the natives.