Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori Visited Sokehs Nahnmwariki

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): November 25, 2011 - On November 23, 2011, President Mori and his cabinet were welcomed by the Nahnmwariki of Sokehs and other traditional leader chiefs to his nahs, as a continuation of the FSM November 3, 2011 celebration of our 25th Independence Anniversary at the capitol, during which Mwohnsapw Herculano Kohler bestowed on President Mori the title, Luhken Mwoalelap.

Last Monday at 3 pm, the President with cabinet members and key staff, went to the Nahnmwariki's nahs in Sokehs to pay his respect. Consistent with customs, the President brought sakau, yams and a pig plus other gifts for the Nahnmwariki and Nahnalek.

At the nahs, after the President and his party were received, pounding of sakau started to make the local brew for the guests and the Nahnmwariki and his chiefs. Once the sakau was ready, serving began. The first four (4) cups usually go to the Nahnmwariki, his wife and chiefs and honored guests. After that everyone present were served.

The Nahnmwariki explained to the President the origin of the title. He said it's named after some cultural object found only in Sokehs, and so the title exists nowhere else. The recipient of the title is allowed to sit on the platform with the Nahnmwariki and other chiefs, facing the audience. The Nahnmwariki said he will inform the other municipalities about the President's new title so that he is extended appropriate courtesies when visiting them.

After more sakau was served, the Nahnmwariki made a brief statement. He said from now on the name of the place where the capitol is located is changed from Palikir to Palikir Powe, and the name should be reflected on signs and structures at the capitol and on official letterheads. He urged the President o have a museum constructed at the capitol where important artifacts could be on display and protected. He also requested that the government establish a formal protocol in which the traditional chiefs are recognized first before other dignitaries as "representatives" of the deities and spirits. He quoted the saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". Lastly he recommended that the government does not allow squatters to encroach on the property given for the seat of our government.

In responding, the President thanked the Nahnmwariki for honoring him with the title and for welcoming him to his nahs. He assured him that he will try again to secure funding for construction of a museum in Palikir. He further assured the Nahnmwariki that he will now ensure that squatters are not allowed to establish residence within the boundaries of the land for the capitol. The President concluded by saying that he looks forward to improve cooperation between the national government and the municipality of Sokehs for their mutual benefit.

It was a solemn occasion, emphasizing the important role culture and traditions play in our lives even today, and so the visit could be characterized as most successful in that friendship when enhanced and cooperation strengthened between the national government and the municipalities in Pohnpei, through the performance of a sacred ritual that still today has relevance in the modern world.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356