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Welcome to Airai.

Republic of Palau.


Airai Home  |  Our Guides  |  Location  |  Orientation  |  Getting Here  |  Credits  |  Site Map


The bai at Airai village.


Alii, welcome to Airai, "home of Medechiibelau." Airai is the southernmost state on the island of Babeldaob, in the Republic of Belau. The entire state of Airai is the land division we will be exploring, with particular focus on the highest ranking village in this state, also called Airai. Traditionally this village is called Irrai, but we are using the contemporary name "Airai."

The rubak (chiefs) of Airai village have graciously shared with us the heritage of Airai, and offer a welcoming chant.

The Republic of Palau is also called "Belau" by native speakers. We will use "Palau," but it is good to be aware of the indigenous spelling, as "Belau" forms part of other words and place names. Pronunciations of Palauan words can be a little difficult to determine from the spellings. Notes on pronunciation are appended to each of the Language pages in this website. However, there are three points that are worth stating in advance:

Ch represents a glottal stop, as in "uh oh." B's can sometimes sound like p's, especially between vowels and at the ends of words. D's are in similar cases pronounced like th. For example, "Babeldaob" is pronounced "Babel-thaop." Finally, k's can sound like g's, especially between two vowels.

Pacific Worlds welcomes you to explore this beautiful place through a series of eight thematic topics. Within each of these, you will find short, focused sections exploring particular aspects within that theme. Provided also are bibliographies and links to external sites that will teach you more about the topics discussed.

Before you begin, use this home page to familiarize yourself with basic geographic information about Airai State:



Our Guides
Meet the community members who will guide our journey in Airai. Each of these people offers distinct and valuable insights into the different faces of Airai State, past and present.


Familiarize yourself with the location of Palau within Micronesia, and find the location of Airai within the Island of Babeldaob.


From the mountains to the sea, this section provides orientation to the major physical, spatial, organizational, and cultural features of Airai. Go here to get the lay of the land before you arrive.

Getting Here
Describes the journey involved in reaching Airai Village today, starting with landing at Palau International Airport. This gives a sense of the relative location of Airai Village and Airai State within the Palauan archipelago.

Airai Home |  Our Guides |  Location |  Orientation |  Getting Here |  Credits |  Site Map
Arrival |  A Native Place |  The Sea |  The Land |  Footprints |  Visitors  |  Memories |  Onwards
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