National Geographic : 1952 Dec
811 1. S. Navy, Official Yap Men, Swapping Loincloths for Dungarees, Learn the Art of Swab Making Medical taboos and magic rites are gradually giving way on Yap. Here a Navy lieutenant supervises native assistants in the Colonia dispensary maintained by the United States Government. resemble such Indonesians as the Balinese. Still others have Caucasian features and, with their brown skins, would not look out of place on a street in India. One of the rarest and most remarkable types we saw among the islanders had the long face and hook nose characteristic of many Arme nians and Syrians. Notably absent, however, is the brawny, thickset Polynesian type, such as is seen among many of the peoples of eastern Micronesia. The ancient migratory paths of Yap fore bears from the Asiatic mainland supposedly swung through the Philippines and Palaus. Typewriter Ribbon Finds New Use At community celebrations we saw the people in their finest garb. Women and girls donned newly made grass skirts, many of which were made gay by added strips of bright yellow reed and bits of red-dyed fiber. One standard ornament for women is a black ribbon marafau worn about the neck. This black neck cord is first worn by girls when they reach maturity. Thereafter they wear it at all times, whether they stay single or marry (page 823). Any narrow black band seems to serve. One day when Stevens was changing his type writer ribbon, several Yap women hovered around to watch. Quickly they snatched up the old ribbon when he discarded it. A short time later one young woman came back look ing somewhat irked. She had made a length of it into a marafau, but the black had come off on her neck. Stevens soon set things right. He ex plained that she should first wash out the excess ink. Men's costumes vary with the age of the wearer. Young boys wear a simple G string, called thu. Then, upon reaching their early teens, they add a cloth or woven fiber band, called begiy, about the waist. Finally, when they attain full manhood at 18 to 21 years of age, the gal is added.