Gilbertese of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 200

ROP3 Code: 105038
IMB Affinity Group: Southeast Asian Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
People Cluster: Micronesian
Language: Gilbertese - (gil)
Religion: Christianity - Protestant
Country of Origin: Solomon Islands

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Majority Located Where

  Honolulu, HI - 200

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Brief Profile

Gilbertese people migrated to the United States from the Pacific islands, specifically from the Republic of Kiribati, a collection of 21 inhabited islands. The island was named after Captain Thomas Gilbert, who "discovered" the main island of the group in 1788.

Their language, Gilbertese, is a Micronesian language that has a basic verb–object–subject word order. The official name of the language is now te taetae ni Kiribati, or 'the Kiribati language'.

They are known for the stick dances that are performed during special occasions.

Christianity was introduced to the Gilbertese in the 19th century. On Kiribati, approximately one out of two Gilbertese adhere to Roman Catholicism with another large percentage belonging to the Kiribati Uniting Church. Many other Protestant denominations, including evangelical churches, are also represented. Other religions represented include the Bahaí, Jehovah's Witnesses, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

Prayer Points

  • Pray that evangelical Gilbertese will share their faith in Christ with their own people and others.
  • Pray that evangelical Gilbertese will grow strong in their understanding and walk in the Christian faith.


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Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesHonoluluHonoluluHI200