The traditional religion of Palau was expressed visually in the local architecture, especially on the meeting houses, or bai:
The end gables of these houses and the interior beams were made of wood and decorated with low-relief painted carvings, depicting each village's history and its relationships with other villages, as well as mythological stories. Palauan society was and still is based on clan lineage, though in recent years it has become more based on education and economic status. In former times, each village was founded by a group of clans. The leaders of these clans would meet in the bai, which also served as a community center.
The completed boards are either painted in various hues (more traditional)...
or are simply stained with a combination of black and brown shoe polish.
Most of the Inabo's storyboards depict Palauan legends and mythology. He creates his designs by producing drawings first, which are then used as guides to make the carvings. He trains multiple apprentices simultaneously to make most of the carvings for sale (Inabo himself now focuses on larger commission projects and individual orders from collectors). Many of his apprentices go on to work independently and sell their own storyboards.
I have a few concluding points/thoughts:
(2) This process also shows that the same thing can be done for the indigenous Christian community, i.e., believing artists can, at the direction of a group of local believers, either utilize traditional art forms and/or adapt others for use by the Christian community in church architecture, liturgical art or personal devotional objects.
(3) Regarding church architecture, why hasn't the bai meeting house been adapted as a form of church architecture? Once again, this was most likely due to the attitudes of the missionaries (both Catholic and Protestant). Perhaps one reason for their aversion to the pai was due to one of their uses: as "school" for the initiation of boys in hunting, fishing, woodworking and... sex. Girls were brought in from other villages and paid for their services. The gables on a few of the bai were even painted with images of women spreading their legs to leave no doubt about what was going on inside (some of these are still around today).
However, this was only one of the uses for the building, and overall it sounds like the pai was the closest equivalent to a church building in Palauan society. Unfortunately, the knowledge needed to construct these buildings is fading, but not completely gone. I suppose it's possible that a future church could incorporate at least the idea of painted gables, since it is now widely used on the island on a variety of business buildings throughout Palau.