Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Manmahafot Ta'lo

On January 30th, 2009 the remains of 88 Ancient Chamorros which were discovered and unearthed during the remodeling of the Fiesta Hotel in Tumon were re-interned at a small monument near the hotel's parking lot. The monument was small, and contained several spelling errors in the Chamorro text used in it. In many ways it was a sad and pathetic commentary on the treatment of ancient remains in Tumon over the past thirty years. Development there and around the island has disturbed an unknown number of sites of Ancient villages, and in most cases the construction companies never reveal what they've found. Those who do or those who get caught however usually end up creating some sort of small, token memorial.

I wrote about this issue last year for GU Magazine, in an article titled "Searching for a Slingstone." For that piece I was writing specifically about the expansion at the Okura Hotel, which had disturbed the remains of 350 Ancient Chamorros, and a small scandal arose over their treatment and handling. To learn more about that scandal, you can check out this issue of Minagahet, "Para i Minaolek i Tano'" which has a list of relevant articles.

I had the honor of attending the ceremony at the Fiesta Hotel (formerly Dai Ichi), and took some videos of the event which I'm posting below (and also the PDN news report on it). I'm also hoping to write a short piece about this issue for Guamology:

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