The Marshall Islands is a poor and poorly developed country with very high population growth. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of MHL and acronym for Marshall Islands. Deficiency diseases are widespread; In 1995, 60 percent of children suffered from vitamin A deficiency. Increased consumption of imported foods and reduced consumption of traditional basic foods are one of the main explanations for this. Mainly thanks to American aid, there is a decent healthcare system for developing countries with 1 doctor per 2,200 residents. Check to see Marshall Islands population.
Its colonial past is the country’s foreign relations special – predominantly crafted by the United States. Already the year after independence, in 1986, the country established diplomatic relations with Israel, and has since served as Israel’s faithful political backer of the UN. Israel has paid for the small country’s support through various economic development programs. Marshall Islands did not have diplomatic relations with quite a few other countries. In 2008, it recognized Kosova as an independent state, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2013. Only in 2010 did it establish diplomatic relations with Brazil.
The indigenous population of the Marshalls, probably emigrated from the Carolines, had a civilization very similar to that of the indigenous people of the Gilbert Islands (v.); the male clothing consisted of an apron of fibers or tree bark, the female one in two mats of pandanus leaves, held together by a cord, which from the hips reached up to the ankles. The lobules of the ears were enlarged, but the tattoo was a special privilege of the nobles. The nourishment consisted of coconuts, breadfruit fruits, pandanus, taro, talion meal, fish and crustaceans. The problem, so important to Pacific sailors, of travel supplies had led to the manufacture of canned pandanus and other products. Fishing, which in ancient times was the main food, it was practiced with a hook, with nets, baskets and buckets or with spears, always accompanied by magic formulas. The weaving of the mats has left magnificent patterns that show the ability and artistic taste of the natives; the material is given by filaments of pandanus leaves and the bark of the hibiscus. With the shell ax and the drill they built artistic boats with mast and sail, in which they often made long journeys. Meteorology and astronomy were highly developed; the so-called “stick cards” (mödo) formed by sticks tied together, gave the position of the individual atolls and the conditions of the currents between them. The rectangular houses were very similar to those of the Gilbert Islands; the chief’s house was naturally built better than the others, and the best houses all had their own separate hut for cooking. There was once, on each island with a boss, also a large house for meetings and for tattoos. In battles on land and at sea, which were once very frequent, they fought with the spear, the javelin and the sling. The population was divided into nobles, who were the sole owners of the land (chiefs and sub-chiefs) and common people. The leaders had the manpower, goods and person of all their subjects.
The family was matriarchally organized, and it was therefore the rank of the mother that determined that of the children. The population was also divided into a number of exogamous totemic groups: polygamy, for economic reasons, was limited to the nobility.
Sex life was very free both before and after marriage. The burial in the earth, which has now become general, was first reserved for the nobles, while the corpses of the municipalities were lowered into the sea. Religious and magical beliefs and rich indigenous mythology (see Polynesians) have, at least in appearance, been abandoned for Christianity.
The indigenous population, decimated by epidemics and venereal diseases, has now fallen to about 9,300 individuals.