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Tuesday 22nd August
Northern Marianas Information - Page 1
Geography
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is in Oceania. The Northern Marianas consist of fourteen islands in the North Pacific. These include Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

Saipan, the largest island, is the capital.

The southern Mariana Islands are composed of limestone. The northern Marianas are volcanic. There are active volcanoes on Agrihan and Pagan.

The climate of the Northern Marianas is tropical marine.

Environment
There are a number of protected areas in the Northern Mariana Islands. The Division of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for the conservation of fish, game and wildlife and the protection of endangered and threatened species.

Preservation of the islands' coral reefs is a priority. A variety of fish and marine creatures inhabit the surrounding seas. Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Green Sea Turtles are on the endangered species list.

The Mariana Fruit Bat, the Sheath-Tail Bat and the Micronesian Gecko are also on the endangered list. Birds such as the Mariana Fruit Dove and the Micronesian Honeyeater live in the forests.

Trees include banyans, bananas, coconuts and papayas. The Flame Tree is the national tree.

Architecture
The ancient architecture of the Chamorro people of the Marianas takes its name from upright stone foundations for houses known as 'Latte'. It has been suggested that the first latte date back a thousand years.

The stone pillars or piers, which supported capstones, were arranged in two parallel rows. It is thought that the piers bore the weight of wooden structures. The pillars were up to eight feet high, although in the case of the famous House of Taga, on the island of Tinian, they were much higher.

The Latte site at Mochong on Rota is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

Population
The population of the Northern Marianas was estimated at 46,050 in 2011.

Languages
Languages spoken in the Northern Mariana Islands include English, Chamorro and Carolinian.

Religion
Most of the people in the Northern Marianas are Roman Catholic. Some people follow traditional beliefs.

Food
International cuisines in the Northern Marianas include Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and American. Local cuisines are Chamorro and Carolinian.

Fresh fish is prepared in a variety of ways. Other seafood is also available.

Peppery Chicken is made with chicken, coconut, onions, and peppers. Red rice, coloured with achote seeds, is eaten.

Vegetables and fruit grown are cassava, taro, yams, breadfruit, plantains, bananas, coconuts, mangoes and papayas.

A popular dessert is made with coconut and wrapped in banana leaves.

Drinks include juice, soft drinks, tea, coffee and beer.

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