The Federated States of Micronesia is an independent sovereign island nation made up of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, in total comprising approximately 607 islands. The islands have been inhabited by Micronesians for over four thousand years and each of the four states has its own distinct culture, though there are cultural elements common to all the islands. The first European explorers to have had contact with the Federated States of Micronesia were the Portuguese in search of Indonesia, though the Spanish established sovereignty in the sixteenth century. The Federated States of Micronesia have been at different times in history been controlled by Spanish, German, Japanese and American powers respectively, finally gaining independence from the United States in 1986.
A general travel guide is Micronesia and Palau by Ben Cook. Addrienne Kaepler’s The Pacific Arts of Polynesia and Micronesia is an entertaining and informative study into the region's rich artistic heritage. Emelihter Kihleng, heralded as a fresh new voice in Pacific literature, became the first Micronesian poet to publish a collection of work in the English language. Her debut collection of poems My Urohs explores contemporary issues affecting the Pacific islands region, such as AIDS, the effects of globalisation and the impact of Micronesian soldiers fighting in the United States armed forces.
The traditional music of Micronesia varies widely across the four states. Comparable to traditions across the South Pacific, traditional music generally involves stick dancing. In recent times, traditional music has been influenced by the popular idioms of Europop, country music and reggae, a reflection of the impact of globalisation.