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Beyond the Spoken Word: Insuring the Legacy of Our Land

2004 (19:17 mins) Island Topics #42 Government Land Issues

Land has long meant security, identity and status for the people of the Marshall Islands. Before these islands knew Western civilization, land was handed down orally, through stories, songs and legends. In every village people knew the owners of the lands and the boundaries that divided them, and this knowledge was stored safely in their minds.

Today land in the Marshall Islands retains its customary importance, but it has become so much more. Although it is more precious then ever, there is still no organized system of ownership records. In an age of documents and records, the knowledge that people once safeguarded through an oral tradition will not be enough. A new system of land registration created by the Government of the Marshall Islands will help the Marshallese people both protect their heritage and develop economically by putting this knowledge to paper. This video looks at the role this system will play in helping the Marshallese carry the legacy of their land into the future.

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