This name, however, was not universally accepted. By extension to the name given to Mile atoll, the Marshall Islands were often called the Mulgrave Islands. As ship traffic more and more abandoned Mili in favour of Jaluit and Majuro, the name Marshall Islands became gradually accepted, However, there were also other attempts at naming: The Russian expedition under command of Captain L.V.Hagemeister on the transport Krotky coming from Sydney visited and described many atoll of both chains and gave them the collective name Prince Menchikov Islands (Hezel 1979:117). During the period of the German colonial administration some debate occurred as to the correct spelling of the Marshall Islands (Marshall Inseln or Marschall Inseln) but then term as such was maintained. The German ethnographers points out that the Marshallese had no general term for all islands and thus proposed to call them Ralik-Ratak Islands(cf. Krämer & Nevermann 1938). Although these attempts were making gradual progress, the termination of German colonial administration with the outbreak of World War I and the take-over by the Japanese prevented any further developments.
In the same vein, the pronounciation of Marshallese words had just been standardised in the German-Marshall dictionary (by Erdland ). in a fashion which is phonetically more correct than the average English-based spelling and pronounciation of Marshallese place names until the recent dictionary by Abo et al. 1976. [back]
The central Carolineans are credited to have regularly went east to the Ralik Chain of the Marshalls, and sometimes as far as Johnston Atoll, and possibly even Hawaii. Intentional voyages: Nakayama & Rapp 1974:7;8; Pompey 1971:13;15;75; Shipwrecked/drifted from: Pingelap [to Jaluit Krämer & Nevermann 1938:35], Woleai [ibid.; Erdland 1914:315]; Yap (Twenty Yapese drifted to Kili in the mid 19th century. The Yapese were captured and killed by a Kili chief .- See Hezel 1979:127; entry for 1868, Bark Syringia).Lamotrek [Kotzebue 1821: II 89); See also Kadu of Woleai mentioned in Chamisso 1986).[back]
Other oral traditions indicate that on occasion voyages may have occurred as far afield as and . At about 1860 the people from Majuro Atoll set out with 50 canoes to conquer Kapingamarangi Atoll in the a Polynesian outlier in the southern central Caroline Islands. Upon arrival the Majuro people killed all original inhabitants and left a colonisation group behind. On the way back the canoe fleet ran into a severe storm and was dispersed. Some of the canoes ended up in Pohnpei, while others were driven to Nukuoro Atoll. There again, the Majuro people killed all original inhabitants and installed themselves as the owners of Nukuoro.Krämer and Nevermann (1938) who report this story, question its accuracy on linguistic grounds, as the Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi people speak a Polynesian outlier dialect and not Ralik-Ratak.
A common feature of these extremely far-flung voyages seems to have been dispersal in storms or disorientation during overcast skies, often leading to fatal results.[back]
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