Yap Visitors Bureau
Myths and Legends
A Timeline of Yap's History
The Chuukeese Ghost Legend

Sitting on a fishing-canoe’s hull, a middle-aged Chuukese woman describes a legend of the Ghost of Chuuk. The legend told of the fear of a ghost that haunts the island. He was a smart ghost, and a local magician who disguised himself as a handsome Chuukese man. He concocted a magical love potion made from crushed stingray tail, black ants and centipede legs, which he gave to beautiful women who liked handsome men instead of not-so-handsome men with good hearts. Every time a beautiful woman followed him” into the forest hoping for a delightful romp in the bush, with a handsome man, he became ugly and consumed the woman from toe to ears.
The moral of this legend reminds beautiful romantic-minded girls a man’s handsome face can hide a hideous ghostly heart.

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Yapese outrigger canoes at sail1500 B.C. (?) Yap populated by migrants from Eastern Indonesia or the Philippines. Archaeologists are still studying the migration issue and have not conclusively determined when or how the islands of Yap were settled. The arrival of settlers may have occurred as far back as two-three thousand B.C.

1525 On October 1, the Portuguese explorer Dioga Da Rocha arrives in the islands of Yap, probably Ulithi, and stays for four months. Over the next two centuries more than twenty other explorers and traders of Spanish, British, Dutch and American origin passed through the Yap Islands.

1731 Father Jan Cantova and Father Visitor Walter bring Catholicism to the island of Mogmog, Ulithi. After several months Father Walter returned by ship to Guam. Shortly thereafter Cantova and his party were massacred, perhaps by local priests opposed to the new religion.

Yapese man sitting by stone money1800 -1860 Intermittent trading between Yapese and Europeans for bech-de-mer (sea cucumbers). Britain's Andrew Cheyne was perhaps the most well known trader during this period. Outer island residents began making regular voyages of their own during this time to Guam and the Marianas.

1818 One hundred Outer Islanders from Lamotrek sail to Guam and a year later establish a colony in Saipan.

1869 Germans establish the first permanent trading station, Godeffroy & Son, under the management of Alfred Teten. By 1874 its holdings included 3,000 acres of land, a cotton plantation and a ship repair operation.

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