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Hand-hewn structures a showcase of Yapese tradition

COLONIA Yap, FSM (Marianas Business Journal, Nov. 7, 2011) – Those visiting Colonia, Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia will notice a new set of hand-hewn traditional-style buildings downtown where the Yap Visitors Bureau once stood.

Nearing completion, the new structures comprise the Yap Living History Museum.

It is intended as a greeting center for cruise ship visitors as well as the more common fly-in tourists.

The museum is to have local cultural demonstrations like weaving, cooking local food, tool making and dancing.

This center is also a showcase of local architecture. There are presentations on Yapese construction as well as traditional canoe sailing and storytelling.

There is one main center structure and three auxiliary buildings, a sitting area and stone money bank, and a parklike grounds area.

While it may look simply built, workers say it's more expensive than one would think because the building materials start out raw. Not only did the master builders and workers help, but there were many behind-the-scenes people doing a lot of preparation work like weaving the roof sections and soaking bamboo in the ocean.

Some of it is open air and there are plans for an indoor structure to house the antique instruments and art on display. The builders said it is progressing well and they hope to have it up and running by the end of the year.

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