Ifaluk is part of the cultural and linguistic region of Micronesia known as Woleiai. Ifaluk has been of interest to ethnographers because its relative isolation meant that its indigenous religion was retained under after World War II, when the islanders began to convert to Christianity. Prior to the arrival of the colonial powers Spain, Germany and Japan in the area, Ifaluk and the other Woleiai islands were vassals of the chiefs of Yap.