National Geographic : 1948 Jul
Pacific Wards of Uncle Sam Future Pulap Sailors Stand Beside the Prow of an Unfinished Seagoing Canoe While their elders conferred with visiting United States officials, these loinclothed lads clustered on the side lines. Rafters, crossbeams, and even roofing thatch of the canoe shed are laced with coconut cordage (page 83). of riding outrigger canoes between our ship and the islands (page 75). The rough surf on the reefs often splashed over the gunwales and slapped us on our trouser seats. Someone always seemed to be busy bailing! I shud dered for what might happen to my cameras. While some of the outer islanders have had fairly close contact with Truk, life in most of these villages is much more primitive. Women Dance Sitting Down On some islands women do not stand in the presence of an assembly of men. When they approach such a group, they walk with bodies stooped and their hands clasped behind their backs. For the last few feet they crawl on hands and knees, or by a crablike sidle on ankles and haunches. In the dance I saw the Puluwat women perform, they remained seated. No sinuous "hula" movements or complicated foot pat terns here; their singing was accompanied only by the sway of shoulders and rhythmical gestures of arms and hands. Woman's place is in the home-or close beside it, where she cooks over a tiny open fire or bakes in a bed of hot coral stones (page 81). Family division of labor also gives the women care of the taro beds, while men climb trees for fresh coconuts, fish, make fish nets, and build outrigger canoes. On one island the chief reported that eight women had been sentenced five days each in the local lockup because they were untidy housewives!