Carolinian Utt

“The center of traditional Carolinian society”

N15  ̊12’26.573” E145  ̊42’59.262

The office of Carolinian Affairs occupies an area near where a traditional Carolinian utt once stood. Traditional utt, large open-sided wood and thatch buildings, were the focal points of Carolinian life in the years before World War II. Originally, there were four utt in Garapan, each one representing a different clan. They were spaced along the beach from I Liyang (near present-day National Office Supply) to the area just south of the Garapan Dock. Utt served multiple functions—as a meeting hall where important decisions were made; as a place for the instruction of youth in traditional skills and knowledge; as storage areas for fishing gear and sailing canoes; and as sleeping quarters for unmarried men and visitors. Until the mid-1920s, utt also played a role in the enforcement of traditional laws. Should a man commit a crime, he was brought to the utt and tied to one of the support posts. There he remained until his family provided appropriate compensation to the aggrieved party. The judicial function of the utt was ended in the mid-1920s by the Japanese administration but these structures continued to serve an important cultural function until they were destroyed during World War II. The Office of Carolinian Affairs building continues the utt tradition in a modern form.