The Federated States of Micronesia received the competitive Underrepresented Communities (URC) grant for writing a U.S. National Register nomination application for Kosrae’s Mahkontowe Conservation Area (MCA). In 2017, Kosraean elders proposed the idea to conserve and protect Kosrae’s mountain range which takes the shape of a female figure who they refer to as Mahkontowe (Kosrae State Law 11-152 ). There are two parts to the pihlengfong (night story) of Mahkontowe. The first part of the Mahkontowe pihlengfong represents the transition of the Tokosra’s seat of political power located in Likinlulem to Lelu Ruins on Lelu Island through the story about a daughter known as Mahkontowe and her mother, a whale who lived in Tafeut. The second part of the Mahkontowe pihlengfong emerged after Kosrae’s population decline, arrival of the missionaries in the 1850s, and construction of four churches. This continuation of Mahkontowe’s legacy is represented by a woman and four metaphorical children which identify Kosrae’s four municipalities and reflects on the American Missionary period of Kosrae when the population was small and churches were built on four facl, Malem, Utwe, Lelu, and Tafunsak. The purpose of this project is to learn more about Kosrae’s history through the ruins and stories hosted by the interior of the island and prepare a nomination application to the U.S. National Register for this significant Micronesian landscape. The project, Mahkontowe: A Micronesian Landscape Nomination, is funded through the Underrepresented Community grant program, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. For questions regarding this project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Mahkontowe Conservation Area, please visit https://hpo.kosraestate.gov.fm/mahkontowe-conservation-area-2/.
For the official press release, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/07-07-20-nps-awards-750-000-in-underrepresented-community-grants.htm