Enewetak and Ujelang are a good example. When the German purchased the Marshall Islands from Spain, the boundary line was drawn at 160 eastern longitude thereby excluding the two atolls. Although the Germans argued that these atolls were in fact Marshallese, the issue remained unresolved until 1898 when the Spanish possessions of Micronesia (with the exception of Guam) was purchased by the Germans. From then on, until the end of the German Colonial period in 1914, Enewetak and Ujelang were administered from Jaluit. The Japanese (1914-1945) reversed the situation and once more administered the two atolls from Pohnpei. The U.S. Trust Territory administration finally placed Enewetak and Ujelang with the Marshall Islands District. [back]


Bender 1963:113. [back]


Hezel 1984, 1985; 1987; 1989; Rubinstein 1981; 1982; 1983; 1985; 1987; 1989; McCabe & Walker in press. As Purcell (1991) has shown, suicide was also high during the Japanese Period, and had its roots in similar transitional problems. Hezel (1989:64) argues that the transition from a subsistence to a monitary economy, which took place after World War II, but increased momentum in the late 1960s and especially in the post-compact years in late the 1980s, disrupted traditional family and social structures. [back]


Spennemann in prep.; Spoehr 1949. A similar indicator is substance abuse, mainly of alcohol, which is common throughout Micronesia (Hezel 1981; Marshall 1979) including in the Marshalls. Again it is the young adult male population which is affected and in two thirds of the Marshallese suicide cases alcohol has been implicated as the facillitator (Hezel 1989). [back]