Friday, May 28, 2010

Chuukese Love Sticks

While serving as public defender on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia, I had occasion to have two brief layovers on the island of Chuuk. (During WW II, the island was known as Truk.) I managed to do a very brief bit of shopping at the airport. I learned that Chuuk’s most distinctive product is the manufacture of “love sticks.” They are short, ornately carved pieces of wood that were traditionally used as a tool for courtship. A young Chuukese fellow would push his love stick through the side of a hut and the young lady would either push it away (indicating she was not interested), pull on it (meaning “come on in), or wiggle it, indicating “I’ll be right out.” I suppose if she doesn’t like the guy, she could break the stuck, which strikes me as a little drastic.

I purchased a nice collection of love sticks for myself. I honestly wonder why the government of Chuuk doesn’t market that product far more aggressively than they do. I can only imagine what the response would be if a guy approached a lady at a bar and told her, “You know, I have a 12-inch love stick.”

I was only on Chuuk for a few hours, so I can’t say if there is a Chuukese Chuck E. Cheese.


Stanley Kutta said...

this is very interesting.. but no we don't have a chuck e cheese.. i'm going to start walking around with my 12 inch chuukese love stick..hahaha. good one..

Ty said...

I just purchased a couple of "love sticks" or courtship sticks last year while visiting the Truk Stop Hotel gift shop. From what I gathered it is kind of a really old tradition, and not really practiced anymore. Anyone from Chuuk, have more information?