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Newsletter"Kobban Alele"

-February-May 2000-

Kobban Alele
Direct translation means "Contents of our traditional basket." This Marshallese term was used to signal and share the dissemination of fresh news. From the "Alele", we will spread our latest news and information through this quarterly newsletter.

Iokwe Aolep!!
This is the most polite way to greet someone. It's mean, "greet or to love." Aolep literally means, "everyone" for the new millennium the Alele Board of trustees, Alele Staff and the U.S. National Park Service, would like to say "I$kwe aolep to all the friends of Alele"

Jeraanman nan kwe Mr. Lorak!
Mr. Nidel L. Lorak, Senator from Arno Atoll, is the newly appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, filling a post vacated after the 1999 general elections. He went to school outside Marshall Islands after graduating from Assumption Elementary School. He attended Xavior High School in Chuuk, FSM, the University of Hawaii at Manoa. University of Guam, Chaminade University and the University of Sacramento, California. He also took some extension courses from USIU. As an educated and qualified person, he worked with the Ministry of Education for 25 years. He entered politic 8 years ago.
As a Marshallese, he loves to tell Folklore or the old Marshallese Traditional Stories. On behalf of the Alele Board of Trustees and management, we are pleased to welcome him to be part of our Cultural Family in this new millennium. Eöap aä ruwainene tok!! (You're welcome.)

Welcome to Marshalls!!
The month of March will bring officials from the Federal Agency that funds the above projects. Ms. Paula Creech will be visiting the Alele Museum as part of her annual consultations and site visits to the FSM, Palau and the RMI. Her annual visits are conducted to view on-site progresses and status reports on the projects funded through her National Park Service's Regional Office in California.


Karuwanene!!
The Alele Board and Management would like to congratulate and welcome the following recent arrivals on board the Alele Waöap: Mr. Lucus Dosung, the new National Librarian; Ms. Suciana Kumtak, Counter-part and Assistant to the National Librarian; Mr. Carthney Laukon, Accountant; Ms. Danita Kaisha, Accounts Clerk, and lastly, but certainly not the least, Honorable Nidel L. Lorak, Arno Senator and Minister of Internal Affairs. Although Alele's operation is overseen by a Board, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has indirect overall responsibility over Alele as well.
Administration
This year Alele, in conjunction with the Office of Historic Preservation, will be striving to complete projects funded with federal grants. Staff from Alele will continue to document the names of existing Marshallese clans on Aur and Naäo. The Alele Outreach Program brings students from the various elementary schools in the Majuro Unified School System as well as students from the private schools throughout Majuro Atoll to the museum and the National Archives. This project sees to teach students more about culture, history, legend and traditional Marshallese life style.
Confirmed words from the HPO reveals that some money has been set aside by that office towards this year's Lutok Kobban Alele Festival-government has mandated the last Friday in September of each year. Even if there is some money allocated to that effort, fund-raising activities must also begin to further assist and secure funding for this event.


Accounting Office
We have two new accountants now and we are looking forward to work closely with them. Carthney Laukon and Danita Kaisha came on board at the end of last year December 1999.


Museum
Oral Histories in Book form (Inon in Majel)

The museum staff was honored to be invited for the Staff Development Day presentation at Delap Elementary School. Alele Museum Assistant Curator, Terry L. Mote, presented to all the teachers from the 7 public elementary schools on Majuro. His presentation discussed some important ways that could help students to understand and learn Marshallese Folklores using the new book, " In$§ in àajôö," which means, Marshallese Folklore. This presentation took place after distributing all the books to the public and private schools in the Marshall Islands. Our hope is that Marshallese young generations will learn from this book and do their best to preserve the Marshallese culture.


Japan Foundation Grant
The National Library received approximately 30 books from the Japan Foundation in January through the Embassy of Japan. Alele would like to extend a special thank you.

USAKA Fund
Thanks to the USAKA, we were able to purchase some necessary equipment for the museum artifact curation.
Jabonkennan Book Project
Museum Curator Kim Kowata was awarded a small scheme grant hosted by the Mitsubishi Bank International which will enable Alele to publish a booklet on Marshallese proverbs and sayings, as well as some topics related to Marshallese customs and culture. The Museum staff is now collecting some information on these topics, and planning to publish the booklet by August of this year.

Marshall Islands English Literary Research Project
Alele Ethnographer, Donna K. Stone, and HPO Archeologist, Richard Williamson, recently returned from Hawaii where they started work on the Marshall Islands English Literary Research Project. This project is designed to locate and obtain as many English language sources of Marshallese history as possible. Ms. Stone and Mr. Williamson conducted the research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and xeroxed over 85 relevant chapters and articles concerning the Marshall Islands. These articles will be bound and included with the Alele Library Pacific Collection.

A bibliography of English language sources relating to the Marshall Islands, particularly anthropology, ethnography, history, etc. is being prepared for use by those interested in Marshallese history. For further information on this project, contact Donna.

A/V Division
The Alele Audio Video producer and editor, Langinbo Frank, recently returned from the outer islands where he was recording traditional sites and interviewing storytellers. He also interviewed with the elders on the memories of WWII. He went with the HPO Archeologist, the Assistant Archeologist, and the Alele Ethnographer. The islands they went to were Likiep, Aelok, and Wotje. Langinbo and Kenny, the assistant technician for the A/V division, were busy with documenting the many hours long activities carried out by the RMI women during their annual World Prayer Day hosted by the Catholic Church women on Friday evening (March 3rd).
The program and sports activities on the following Saturday commemorating Jined Ilo Kobo Day-All Mother's Day. In addition, Nuclear Victim's Day activities that were held at the CMI campus, were also video recorded by Alele. Also talking about video tapes recorded on the Marshallese Jabôn Kennaan (Proverbs) and traditional stories, the Majuro Unified School System requested to the A/V division to make copies of these two events. A/V division made them 14 copies.

Library
PIALA Conference

Alele Librarian, Flora K. Eleas, recently returned from Palau where she attended the annual Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives Conference. Ms. Eleas reported that the conference was both interesting and rewarding, especially the post-conference Internet training workshop she attended. Although she considers herself a computer novice, Ms. Eleas did enjoy learning the basics of the World Wide Web. Ms. Eleas would like to thank all those who organized the conference and took such good care of all the participants, especially those participants from the Marshall Islands. Kommool tata!

National Library
Recently the Nitjela designated the Alele Library as the RMI National Library and since January Alele has added two new members -- Lucas Dosung, National Librarian, and Suciana Kumtak, Assistant National Librarian -- to our staff. The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services is funding both Mr. Dosung and Ms. Kumtak and they will be working to implement the newly created Five-Year Plan for Libraries in the Marshall Islands. While the plan covers all of the libraries in the Marshall Islands, the first order of business is to make Alele a library that all Marshallese can be proud of and one that can provide guidance to other libraries. Presently all of the books in Alele are being cataloged on a computer database. Once this is finished, the next step is to work with teachers, school boards, and librarians from all elementary and secondary schools in the Marshalls to ensure that all libraries have well managed collections with improved reading materials. A program that will promote and cultivate good reading habits among children is also in the works.

The national library service, in conjunction with local communities, will provide planning and organization for library activities throughout the RMI. This process will take time, funding, and community cooperation and it is hoped that the National Library can coordinate all of these activities within the five-year time frame. Work within Alele has already begun and hopefully the public will see drastic changes over the next few months.

Archives
PIALA Conference

Alele archivist, Amram Enos, also participated in the conference in Palau. Both of them, the Alele Archivist, and the Alele Librarian attend the meeting.

Micro - filming
The very important materials from the Marshallese-English Dictionary with notes on pronunciation, 1st and 2nd Constitutional Special Session and Regular Session, and Micronesian Resources Study and other Historic and Cultural Traditional Properties, book from Marshall Islands High court title of the First Annual Report of the Judiciary of the RMI, were microfilmed.


04/03/2000

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