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The Rise of Towns

February 2004 Historical Albums

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Video Description

Micronesians have always lived in villages, communities of a few hundred people or less. It was only in the Japanese era, from the 1920s on, that the first real towns developed. By 1935 there were several towns; one or two of them could have even been called small cities. Garapan and Chalan Kanoa on Saipan; Tinian Town; Songsong on Rota; Koror and Angaur in Palau; Enin,Toloas in Chuuk; Kolonia and Sapwalapw in Pohnpei; and Jabor, Jaluit. Each of these towns had a population of at least a thousand, most of whom were Japanese. But towns meant more than just numbers. They meant water, sewerage, power, places to shop, new forms of recreation–conveniences that would have been unimaginable in smaller communities. This album illustrates the rise of towns in Micronesia.

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