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Title: Postcolonial transformation in Yap : Tradition, ballot boxes and a constitution 
Author: Acord, Suzanne A
Date: 2008
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008. Interviews with Yapese chiefs, villagers and legislators, along with an analysis of FSM and Yap constitutional convention minutes illustrate Yap's efforts to combine democracy with tradition. These hybrid compromises were a break from tradition and may have initially been created out of historical necessity, but they did indeed provide new rights to groups who wouldn't otherwise have them. Numerous cultures, traditions and languages can be found in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), but all of the FSM states have undergone similar changes in culture and island life due to foreign occupations. In Yap, specifically, political structures are steeped in oral tradition and chants, some of which outline the beginnings of Yap's caste and village hierarchies. Eventually, imperialism affected these structures and remnants of the imperial powers continue to influence Yap today. The FSM states modeled their governments after Western governments, but they incorporated stipulations meant to protect tradition. Each constitution protects tradition to a different degree. As a new FSM state, Yap created a constitution that integrates traditional practices into a new democratic structure. The Yapese created a fourth branch of government that consists of two councils of chiefs. These councils review all legislation to ensure that it coincides with tradition. They are ultimately tasked with protecting Yapese tradition within a democratic framework. The Yap State Constitution recognizes traditional leaders while providing leadership roles to groups who have not historically been given leadership roles including women and lower castes. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 152-158). Also available by subscription via World Wide Web 158 leaves, bound 29 cm
ISBN: 9780549600312
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/20843
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.

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