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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Pacific Islands of Micronesia (3 galleries) >> Pohnpei and the lost city of Nan Madol tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Nauru, Central Pacific | Pohnpei and the lost city of Nan Madol | Kiribati, Central Pacific

Pohnpei and the lost city of Nan Madol

The mysteries of Pohnpei, Micronesian island of rain-drenched forests, dense mangroves and long-abandoned stone cities, only deepen through a glass of paralysing sakau.

The Germans built a belltower and a naval cemetery; the Spaniards left a crumbling city wall. Japanese colonists set up their guns on the ridge above the harbour and bequeathed a taste for sashimi, cubed tuna, whilst nickels and dimes, ball games and yellow school buses are tangible reminders of the post-war US stewardship of these former Trust Territories, now more or less independent as the Federated States of Micronesia.

Before the foreigners came, the Saudeleurs were lords of all they surveyed. Legends tell how they built the ruined stone city of Nan Madol to rise up out of the seas from Sounahleng, the reef of heaven; how their reign was overturned by a legendary hero and his followers, the forefathers of today’s chiefly class.

These images are from journeys around 1998-2000, when Air Nauru operated an island-hopper service from Australia through to Guam, via Nauru and Kiribati. All connections are now made via Honolulu or Guam.

Original images were 35mm Fujichrome or Ektachrome transparencies. Hi-res. scans are available for licensing, please visit www.travelgame.org.

Pohnpei, Micronesia
Pohnpei, Micronesia
Churchgoers
Churchgoers
German-era belltower, Kolonia
German-era belltower, Kolonia
Polynesian family at Kapingamaringa village
Polynesian family at Kapingamaringa village
Ready to embark aboard an inter-island steamer
Ready to embark aboard an inter-island steamer
Inter-island steamer preparing to sail
Inter-island steamer preparing to sail
Swallowing down sakau, a form of kava
Swallowing down sakau, a form of kava
The Gazebo at The Village
The Gazebo at The Village
Breakfast at The Village
Breakfast at The Village
Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Pohnpei Harbour
Pohnpei Harbour
Women and children in rural Pohnpei
Women and children in rural Pohnpei
Pohnpei people
Pohnpei people
Young man, Pohnpei
Young man, Pohnpei
View of Sokehs Rock
View of Sokehs Rock
Japanese AA gun on Sokehs Ridge
Japanese AA gun on Sokehs Ridge
A beach on the atoll which surrounds Pohnpei
A beach on the atoll which surrounds Pohnpei
En route to Nan Madol
En route to Nan Madol
Exploring the waterways of Nan Madol
Exploring the waterways of Nan Madol
Exploring Nan Madol
Exploring Nan Madol
Local people near Nan Madol
Local people near Nan Madol
Nan Douwas, the main temple at Nan Madol
Nan Douwas, the main temple at Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Late afternoon at Madolenihmw
Late afternoon at Madolenihmw
Kepirohi Falls
Kepirohi Falls
Sunset from The Village
Sunset from The Village
Sunset from The Village
Sunset from The Village