Palauan customary obligations still reflect the strength of social, cultural and familial relationships and dynamics. Despite the economic downturn caused by COVId-19 pandemic, over $192,000 dollars was collected at the funeral of former Koror chief, Rechucher-ra-ioulidid John C. Gibbons. He was a former Minister of Justice of country and also a former Governor of Koror State.
Families, clans, friends, associations, community members, state government and national representatives contributed money toward the funeral costs and cultural obligations related to the funeral of the former chief of Koror. The amount reflected closeness, traditional ties, familial ties and friendship ties and varied from highest given by his sister of $20,000 to lower amounts from clan or associate relations. Altogether, over $192,000 cash, over 100 turtle shell moneys, 3 Palauan moneys and a land with 2-storey house were contributed.
The moneys and properties will be divided and distributed by the clan matriarchs to his children, his wife and his wife’s relatives and to pay expenses incurred.
Funerals are weekly occurrences in Palau, and represent a huge Palauan family expense on a regular basis but seen nearly as a life insurance that people contribute to and expect future returns.