On Nov. 17, U.S. Ambassador Doria Rosen presented Larry Raigetal, director of Waa’gey, with a $39,000 check from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. The money will be used by Waa’gey to fund their program, preserving traditional valuable knowledge and skills through canoe carving and weaving, which will offer 40 youth (20 boys and 20 girls) a chance to participate and learn traditional skills.
The boys will work in Colonia, Yap, at two canoe houses that have been provided by the Yap Living History Museum. They will learn the art of canoe carving, and traditional fish trap making. The girls will work with the women’s group in Ruu village. They will learn to weave the royal “Machiy,” which is an intricate woven fabric for chiefs. Canoe craftsmanship, Machiy weaving, and fish trap making are highly specialized skills that are beginning to fade from Outer Island Yapese culture.
Locating the canoe carving project at the Yap Living History Museum site will enable school groups from around the island to visit the project. They will be able to learn firsthand some of the skills being taught in the canoe houses, and benefit by gaining an early appreciation of valuable past cultural practices.
The AFCP is extremely competitive. Each year, U.S. ambassadors from around the world submit proposals for funding through the AFCP fund. Rosen was very pleased that the proposal from FSM was accepted and funded. She was even more pleased to present Waa’gey and its trainers with the check, which will allow them to expand their efforts to train the youth of Yap State. (U.S. Embassy)