Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hinekka' i Tiningo' i Manamko'

UOG Launches Oral History Project to Collect Chamorro Stories
Elders are being asked to share their stories for project and museum

FOR RELEASE, September 17, 2013 – As part of its mission to perpetuate and promote the Chamorro language and culture, the University of Guam is embarking on an oral history project focused collecting traditional Chamorro knowledge. The project is entitled, Hinekka’ i Tiningo’ i Manåmko’ which translates to, “The collection of the knowledge of the elders.” It is being coordinated by the Chamorro Studies Program and is tied to the development of the Guam Museum.
Historian Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. and writer Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, MFA are working on the writing for the Guam Museum, and are conducting this oral history project. Their goal is to ensure that the voices and knowledge of our elders, particularly in relation to the complexities and creativity of the Chamorro language, are not lost.

Leon Guerrero will be leading efforts to interview elders and record their knowledge about Chamorro songs, jokes, children’s stories and sayings. She will also document their experiences around aspects of recent Guam history that have yet to receive adequate attention by historians. These stories will be used to inform the writing for the Guam Museum and to develop Chamorro resources for the Chamorro Studies Program, including future presentations and publications.

As UOG President Robert Underwood states, “The Chamorro Studies Program at UOG is based on the principle that knowledge does not reside in the university or in its faculty, but rather in the community. The purpose of the University is to help preserve that knowledge, but not to take ownership over it. It belongs to the community. Through the Chamorro Studies program, UOG can play an important role in protecting that knowledge and helping to ensure that the general public continues to have access to it.”

Chamorros interested in sharing their stories for this project are encouraged to contact Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. at the UOG Division of Humanities at (671) 735-2800 or email

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