Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Palau'
- a republic in the western central Pacific Ocean in association with the United States [syn: Republic of Palau, TT]
- a chain of more than 200 islands about 400 miles long in the western central Pacific Ocean [syn: Palau Islands, Belau, Pelew]
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Palau'
Palau /pəˈlaʊ/ ( listen), officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu er a Belau), is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship (administered by the United States) in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and smallest sovereign states. In English, the name is sometimes spelled Belau in accordance with the native pronunciation. It was formerly also spelled Pelew.
The archipelago is also known as "The Black Islands". Vintage maps and village drawings can be found at the Australian library online, as well as photos of the tattooed and pierced Ibedul of Koror and Ludee.
Palau was initially settled over 3,000 years ago, and perhaps 4,500 years ago, probably by migrants from the Philippines. A pygmy population is attested until about 900 years ago. The modern population, judging by its language, may have come from the Sunda Islands. British traders became prominent visitors in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. Following its defeat in the Spanish-American War, Spain sold Palau and most of the rest of the Caroline Islands to Germany in 1899. Control passed to Japan in 1914 and during World War II the islands were taken by the United States in 1944, with the costly Battle of Peleliu between September 15 and November 25 with more than 2,000 Americans and 10,000 Japanese killed. The islands passed formally to the United States under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.[See more about Palau at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]