About Us

The Etpison Museum opened in August, 1999, in a 3,000 sq.ft three story building designed and constructed by Shallum and Mandy Etpison. The museum is dedicated to Shallum’s father, late Palau president Ngiratkel Etpison, who donated the land for the museum building. Dutch-born Mandy Thijssen Etpison is the Managing Director and curator of the museum, and Honorary Consul of France to the Republic of Palau.  Shallum is President and CEO of the NECO Group of Companies, which include the tourism-related businesses Neco Marine, Yamaha, Cliffside Hotel, Splash, Palau Aggressor/ Tropic Dancer, as well as contruction, LP Gas, water bottling and other family-owned businesses. The non-profit museum is run under two companies, Iked Foundation and Tkel Corp, named after the couple’s sons Tkel and Iked Etpison, who are expected to take over the museum when their parents decide to retire. The museum works closely with Neco Marine, the Coral Reef Research Foundation, the Palau Conservation Society and the Palau Pacific Resort on sponsoring and supporting community and environmental projects.

The Etpison Family - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM
Ngiratkel, Shallum, Mandy, Tkel and Iked Etpison

Our full-time staff consists of master carver Enrico Soliman, who has lived on Palau for 28 years, Assistant Manager Tess Soriano, Tour Guide Fidensia Tangelbad, sales lady Mirasol Morata, and our entertainer/ photo model Elvis, a Palauan 10 year-old Sulfur-crested cockatoo abducted by Palauan hunters from the rock islands, sold on the streets, and eventually adopted by the Etpison Museum.

The Etpison Museum Staff - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM

interesting fact:

The Etpison Museum doubles as the French Consulate office in Palau. The front of the museum features a Palauan female and male statue, storyboard-style carved balconies, and the carved spider God, representing the symbol for childbirth in Palau. Legend has it that Palauans did not know how to give birth naturally, and would cut open a woman’s belly to get the baby out, usually killing her in the process. A foreign God in the form of a spider showed them how to give birth, and Palauans have held the first child birth ceremony ever since.

The Etpison Museum - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM
Shallum, Mandy, Tkel, and Iked Etpison - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM