Showing posts from December, 2018

Random Political Status Thoughts on the Edge of a New Year

In less than a week, a new Governor will take power in Guam, as will a new non-voting Guam delegate and a number of new senators will be sworn in for the island's legislature. I have certain hopes for the new crop of leaders. There is great potential for them to learn lessons from the past, especially on the topic of decolonization. In recent years, the small, but significant maturation of the community on the topic, is part of the fact that for decades it has been circulating in conversations and political agendas. For a long time, rhetoric around decolonization wasn't worth much to voters, and wasn't really worth it. That is why for decades it was rare for politicians to share what their personal preference would be for Guam in terms of political status. It wasn't that they didn't have opinions or thoughts on it, but it was either something politically risky or simply taibåli. 

For the past few years, I've been interviewing Guam politicians from the previous…

Latte Stone Significance

The latte has become a key symbol in expressions of contemporary Chamoru identity and a key means by which they have come to establish a meaningful connection to their ancient ancestors. 
Following centuries of colonization, Chamorus had their connection to their ancestors was severely disrupted and felt little intimacy with regards to their ancestors prior to Spanish colonization. They had come to accept that they and much of their culture and beliefs were primitive or savage. 
The study of the latte and its promotion as a historical artifact in the 20thcentury helped create the everyday possibilities for Chamorus to form new positive connections to their ancestors. The latte is no longer a discarded remnant from a primitive past, but an icon of ethnic identity, empowerment and sacredness. 
As the Chamoru people have undergone significant cultural shifts over the past four centuries, primarily due to colonization, the latte has become a quiet but important symbol of the fortitude and re…