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Carolinian family in 1915
|Regions with significant populations|
|Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands|
|Carolinian, Chamorro, and American English|
The Carolinian, or Refaluwasch people are an Austronesian ethnic group who originated in Oceania, in the eastern Caroline Islands, with a total population of around 8,500 people. It is thought that their ancestors may have originally immigrated from Asia and Indonesia to Micronesia around 2,000 years ago. Their primary language is Carolinian, called Refaluwasch by native speakers, which has a total of about 5,700 speakers. The Carolinians have a matriarchal society in which respect is a very important factor in their daily lives, especially toward the matriarchs. Most Carolinians are of the Roman Catholic faith.
The immigration of Carolinians to Saipan began in the early 19th century, after the Spanish killed most of the local population of Chamorro natives, reducing them to just 3,700. They began to immigrate mostly sailing from small canoes from other islands, which a typhoon previously devastated. The Carolinians have a much darker complexion than the native Chamorros.
- "Joshua Project Carolinian of Northern Mariana Islands Ethnic People Prolife". Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "Saipan History & Culture". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "NEA National Heritage Fellowships: Felipe I. and Joseph K. Ruak, Carolinian stick dancers". Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands", a one-hour PBS documentary distributed by New Day Films.
- "Pacific Footsteps Program Four". Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "CNMI Tanapag --Onwards:People". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2008.