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A Native Place
Chapter Contents:


The Palauan village has a distinct geography and design, including a central area and a series of raised stone pathways that define the limits of the village proper. We learn about this unique design.

The traditional homes of Palau were distinct in architecture, orientation, and significance. Our guides explain the various features of these houses, including the stone platform that stood in front of them.

The focus of any village was a plaza with one or more elaborately carved houses known as bai. One of these would be the meeting house for the village council of chiefs. The Bairairrai is the only traditional such structure remaining in Palau, though new ones are now being built.

Not far from the bai is a spot where the four pathways join. Today a round stone structure marks this spot. Johnson and Rurecherudel tell the story of how the rival forces of Palau used to meet here, and how a senior woman from Airai Village brokered their peace.

Yapese Quarry
On the island just off Airai Village's waterfront, as well as on another location in Airai's Rock Islands, men from Yap used to come and quarry their stone money. The resulting interaction, though minimal, had a lasting legacy.


Palauan terminology concerning the home, structures, family and kinship, and domestic geography.


Sources & Links
Links to related web sites
Bibliography and Sources


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