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Mysterious Ruins – Pacific Storytellers Cooperative

Mysterious Ruins

Story and images by Callany David


The Mysterious Ancient City In Pohnpei

Once in an age when men voyaged among stars, there were two skillful men who came from Kataupedi (Yap) to Pohnpei. These two men were searching around the island looking for a peaceful and calm place for them to build up their sacred place of worshiping their God. The names of the two men were Olosohpa and Olosihpa. Olosohpa and Olosihpa when they came to Pohnpei they first arrived in Sokehs, at that time they called that place Ipwal. Then, they started working on their sacred place.

When they started building it up, they discovered that the place was not good. They said that the land was not good enough for them to construct their sacred place. The waves were too big and would always wear down the rocks that they piled up. Additionally, they did not want the people of Pohnpei working with them. So, they named that place Soukehs. Then they moved up to a place in Nett, called Tupwen Dongolap. Same thing happened and so they moved again.



Eventually, they moved up to Dehpehk (today known as Uh). Olosohpa and Olosihpa discovered that it was also not a good place for them to build. Finally, they decided to pray so they could get a hint for which place would be better. Finally, they went to a mountain called Kupwurso and looked over the island trying to find a better place. As they were looking they saw a light fall from the heaven straight down to the ocean. So they went there. Finally, they discovered the perfect place and it was in Madelenihmw (today known as Temwen).



Olosohpa and Olosihpa then requested all men in Pohnpei to come and worked with them to construct that sacred place. Then, all men around the island of Pohnpei came to Temwen and helped Olosohpa and Olosihpa build their sacred site. The rocks that they used and piled up that sacred place was not from Madelenihmw. The rocks were mainly from Pwisehn Malek (Sokehs). Legend says they used their black magic and flew all the rocks from Sokehs all the way to Temwen. They worked for many years until the construction was done. Then they gave the name of the sacred place “Nan Madol”.

In there were 92 islets. Each of the islands have their own name. When the construction of Nan Madol was done, Olosihpa passed away. Then, Olosohpa ruled over Nan Madol and became the first Saudeleur at that time.


My Reflection of Nan MAdol

It was a great pleasure for me when I was given the opportunity to visit Nan Madol. When I first set my foot on Nan Madol, I can’t express how excited and how frightened I was at the same time. I wanted to laugh out loud and feel the pressure of that place. I had been hearing a lot of news regarding the creation of Nan Madol and how that place was so sacred, so I was afraid that something might happen to me.

As a Pohnpeian, I’ve never been there. I’ve always heard stories of Nan Madol but I wanted to see it on my own. But my parents would never let me go — they used to say that this place was not a place for wondering around. They forbade me to go there by myself. I needed to accompany people that knew the story of that place.


When I finally got there this time, I was so surprised that I almost fainted. I just believe that Olosohpa and Olosihpa were the ones who created that place. I always ask myself “Is it true what am seeing or am dreaming?”

“How did they pile up those big rocks so neatly?”

The creation of that place was very amazing. This place was more unique than all the places I’ve been to or visited. I can’t even describe how beautiful it was. W

hen I got home yesterday, after we get back from Nan Madol, I kept on talking about Nan Madol. I was amazed and glad that I finally went there so no one can tell me foolish things about Nan Madol, for I already knew a little bit story of Nan Madol and I had seen it with my own eyes.

Nan Madol is a beautiful, astounding, and wonderful place in Pohnpei.


Message to the World

To all the people out there, I would take this moment and tell you more about Nan Madol. Nan Madol is a beautiful place located in Pohnpei. It is where tourist always visited when they first arrived in Pohnpei.


This place is very unique because of its special creation legend. This place is also sacred. It has many legends. When visiting this place there are certain things you need to know.

You need to respect that place in order for you to be safe. However, you cannot visit this place at night time. If you ever decided to visit this place you need to follow what Pohnpeians tell you: what you can do and cannot do, what you can touch and cannot touch. Don’t get frustrated. It might sound scary but if you behave well or respect that place, nothing will happen to you. If you ever decide to visit some special places in the world, I would like to say you might as well pick Nan Madol.

Then you will see in your own eyes the special and beautiful creation of this site.




Why is Nan Madol so important to me as a Pohnpeian.

As a Pohnpeian, Nan Madol is really important to me because it represents who we are today. It’s where some chaotic things started and at the same time ended. I value this place because it had great legends of our ancestors. Other than that, I believe that Nan Madol is also a pride for us .When tourists visited Nan Madol they always talk about the good things of this site.




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