Ngardmau is one of Palau's sixteen states and is located on the west side of Babeldaob between the states of Ngaraard and Ngeremlengui. Its total area is 20.5 square miles (53 km2). According to the last census, 221 persons live in Ngardmau. Their 46 households are situated in three hamlets: Ngetbong, Ngerutoi and Urdmau. The hamlets have no visible boundaries, but form one settlement.
The highest elevation on Palau is in Ngardmau; Mt. Ngerchelchuus, which is slightly over 700 feet (210 m) tall. At the south base of this mountain is a forest with giant trees that shelter many species of birds.
In Ngardmau there are five retail stores, one laundromat, two gas stations, one construction enterprise, and one auto repair shop. Ngardmau has two tourist accommodations, a small apartment rental in the settlement and two bungalows in the woods above a scenic waterfall (Taki Falls), which is the main tourist attraction of Ngardmau.
One of the beautiful legends of Ngardmau includes "Ngerchokl" water wells. This place called "Ngerchokl" was known to be the water of youth. If a person jumped in the water well and came up, he or she would years younger. However, the water well "Ngerchokl" lost its power in later years. A woman who was traveling with her child came upon the water well to drink water but because it was too hot, she decided to jump in not knowing the natural magic of the water. When she came up, she was younger than her age so her child cried heavily because the mother looked so different. The mother tried to console the child but didn't work. The woman eventually jumped again in the water well and she turned back to her old self again. The curse of this water well began and it has never been the same then. Today, the villagers share this story in many occasions with laughter.
Ngardmau traditional political and social system is very strong and is still being utilized today. Women association called "Ngaratumtum" and men association called "Ngara Okelout" are organizations which keep the women and men of Ngardmau active in traditional way of life and old values. "Bul" is a form of punishment of long time ago when person got into trouble stealing or walking on the road passing the curfew time. "Bul" punishment fine are paid to chiefs of Ngardmau. Today both "bul" punishment and government laws are both utilized in Ngardmau to keep the State clean and free of crime.
The government of Ngardmau is also run by a governor (Akiko Sugiyama), representative (Mr. Kasolei), and senators. However Ngardmau's chiefs and their female counterparts are still in power, preserving the traditional way of life as well as values. Ngardmau is divided into three hamlets (Urdmang, Ngerutoi, and Ngetbong). These hamlets have chiefs and are presented in a hierarchy system according to clan. Beouch is a title for the highest chief and Ngirkebai is for second high chief (Aichi Kumangai), and followed by several other titles.
High Chief Beouch title is inherited through Ngedengoll ourrot. Omlei Demk was a ranking woman in the highest clan of Ngardmau called "Ngedngoll". Palau is still exercising traditional system which consists of matrilineal order where women hold power and heir among the clans. Women make decisions or selections on whom to be chief and so on, titles are awarded or inherited to men from their mothers clan.
Ngardmau High Chief Beouch, Sakaziro Demk was married to Maylu Makaya (Known to Ngardmau villagers as "Dilmairong or Mairong". Unfortunately, Maylu died of natural cause in early 90's.[when?] Maylu (Mairong) Makaya survived by her four daughters and four sons and grand children. Maylu oldest daughter PVeronica Sakaziro who died in 2007, has two sons Sylvester and Daniel Rebelkuul and daughters, Leia Masami and Christina (known as Christy). Christina Sakaziro, the oldest of siblings was adapted to grandmother Maylu and grandfather Sakaziro so she became an additional sister to Maylu's and Chief Sakaziro's four daughters. Chief Sakaziro Beouch and Maylu's other daughters include Feblonia Demek (Melngois), Hilaria Demk (Iwong)), Maria Demk (Kukong), Christy Sakaziro (Itong). Sons: Joshnson Demk (Toribiong), Shinecio Demk (Orrukem), Justino Demk (Rengiil), Lerince Demk (Kueil).
Today, High Chief Sakaziro Beouch is widowed living with his third oldest son Shinecio Demk (Orrukem). Chief Beouch is still working and very active in any activities or issues concerning the State of Ngardmau. Chief Beouch’s children and grandchildren all live in Palau except Christy Sakaziro. Christy Sakaziro lives in neighboring island of Saipan with her two daughters, Liberty Posegate and Francia Aderkeroi Posgate.
Ngardmau is beautified with natural beauty and the essence of beautiful people with rich cultural integrity and honor. Historic sites during Japanese can be seen on every location while driving on the mountainous natural resource of bauxite. Inner village, the cultural décors and monuments can be seen. Cultural sites are located in the town close to rivers such as Ngerurang’s River. Ngardmau has the largest rain forest in Palau where many creatures live. There are many rivers and waterfalls connected to each other. The tallest water fall is called “Taki” which is now popular to tourist. Ongimi River is known to be crocodiles hatched. Crocodiles can be seen along the long river of Ngertebechel through the town, Did River, Sebeluu River, Ngerchetang Potato Lakes, and Ongimi River out to the Ocean. Ngerchetang Potato Lakes is known to have many crocodiles and home to many birds which lay eggs by the little ponds. Ngerhetang village also known for popular tree called betel nut or "buuch" in Palauan. If you like to be adventurous, you might ask a villager to tour the town of Irur, Ngerdekus, and Ngermasech where you can find old historic sites which are part of the many Ngardmau’s legends. Ngerchelchuus which is the tallest mountain of Palau is located in Ngardmau where you can see all the mountainous scenery including the largest rain forest located below of the Ngerchelchuus’s mountain. Ngardmau has very clean ocean mixture of warm and cool water because of the river. Snorkeling is allowed in certain areas. Other areas close two ports of Ngardmau are known to have farm growing clams and native sea lives. It is best to consult Ngardmau department of conservation for any information related to sight seeing.
- Official Ngardmau Website
- Seacology Ngardmau State Project
- Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Palau to the UK &NI