Madolenihmw king honors Torres


The nanmwarki (King) of Madolenihmw in Pohnpei bestowed a traditional title on Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during a traditional sakau ceremony last Sunday.

Torres was bestowed a lordship status and was given the Pohnpeian name Luahk during the traditional sakau ceremony at the Garapan Central Park.

The nanmwarki of Madolenihmw, Kerbet Hebel, also gave first lady Diann Torres the Pohnpeian name Luahkpei.

Along with the title was a spot in the nanmwarki’s royal family. That means the Torres couple will now be considered an extension of the royal Madolenihmw family.

To officiate his position in Hebel’s royal family, Torres was asked to drink the traditionally prepared sakau beverage that was the highlight of the ceremony.

The sakau ceremony is a traditional ceremony in Pohnpei to honor the presence of the high chiefs while also bringing together everyone.

The ceremony was organized by the Pohnpeian community in honour of Hebel and his wife, who are on island to attend the Pacific Islands Bilingual and Bicultural Association conference.

The sakau ceremony started with the traditional slaughtering of a pig that was then cooked in the traditional uhm. The enormous pig was slaughtered in the traditional Pohnpeian way as part of the ceremony and parts of the semi-cooked meat was then offered to Hebel and Torres as a gift.

The rest of the pig was then dispersed among the other members of the royal family and the rest as part of the tradition for everyone to take home and cook as they please.

The highlight of the ceremony was the traditional pounding and preparation of the sakau, a traditional beverage

Sakau, more popularly known as kava, is a powerful drink that represents peace among Pohnpeians. The sakau root was pounded with special stones to extract the sap of the root, which is later mixed with a bit of water to create a concentrated beverage.

After the sakau was offered to the royal family, it was later offered to CNMI dignitaries like Lt. Gov Victor B. Hocog, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, and others.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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