Showing posts from 2019

Direchon i Manggayero

This is a list of items that Independent Guåhan made a few months back following the federal ban on cockfighting in the US territories. That was a very interesting time for IG and for me, since a certain part of the Guam/Chamoru community suddenly became hyper-engaged on issues of political status. 
For me personally, what made it interesting is that for a few weeks, everywhere I went I would end up having cockfighters talk to me and ask me questions about what can be done and what's going on. One of these days I'll write more about my reflections on that time, but for now, here is the call to action items we created. 
What Can WE Do About the Cockfighting Ban NOW?
1. Cockfighting is Culture! It is important that we continue to defend and practice our culture in the present. Cockfighting is one of those traditions, and it is imperative that we defend our heritage.  
2. Call Your Elected Leaders! Finding and influencing elected leaders who are willing to support coc…

Many Nenis

For the past few months my Saturday morning Chamoru coffee shop classes have been structured around two activities. Each class begins with the translation of a Chamoru song into English. Usually the students get to the pick the particular song, or at least the type of song. Second, we go through a longer narrative, sometimes a story, a speech or a poem in Chamoru and also spend time translating it and practicing reading it.

As a result of this, I've been translating lots of Chamoru songs lately. When I first started learning Chamoru, gi minagahet, I was terrible at transcribing Chamoru songs. I hadn't grown up with the ear for hearing or catching Chamoru and so my transcriptions of songs were often wildly inaccurate. For the first few years I had people both politely and impolitely correct my attempts at transcription and then translation. My ear for Chamoru has gotten better, but I still struggle sometimes with particular artists who may have their own flair for pronunciatio…

Where Do We Hear Chamoru?

For each Inacha'igen Fino' CHamoru, the Chamorro Studies and Chamoru language faculty at UOG collect or produce a handful of creative and expressive texts in the language. These texts are used as part of the competition for these categories, Lalai (chant), Rinisådan Po'ema (poetry recitation) and Tinaitai Koru (choral reading). Students have to memorize and then recite or perform these either as individuals or as a group.

For the longest time, there wasn't a lot produced creatively in the Chamoru language. Most of it could be found in terms of music, as Chamorus were making songs, releasing albums and performing. Much of the publication and promotion of Chamoru could be found in the church, but little of it was creative. Much of it was translations of things written elsewhere in the Catholic universe and localized to Guam. In this way, the church preserved words and meanings in Chamoru, it helped teach and propagate the language, but it wasn't a venue for Chamorus …

Nuebu na Betsu-hu Siha

Guaha meggai na tinilaika gi på'go na såkkan. Meggai nuebu na siniente-ku ya guaha na biahi kulang machuchuda' enao siha gi sanhalom-hu. Fihu anggen taiguenao yu', ya-hu sumotta sina gi tinge'-hu, kolo'lo'ña betsu pat po'ema siha. 

Todu i tinige'-hu guini put guinaiya. Sa' ma'pos un eståba na guinaiya yan manaliligao yu' nuebu. 

Estague i betsu-hu sina, ni' hu tuge' gi halacha na tiempo. 


Mungga masukne yu' Nåna
na ti hu na'funhåyan i tarehå-hu
Sukne si Yu'os
Sa' guiya muna'fanhuyong
Ayu na palao'an


Tumutunok i pilan
Lao olahan moon
Na mana'påra i tininok-ña
Ya ti hu fåkpo'
Este linangitan na råtu
Nai hågu gi tinektok-hu


I mangga
gi hilo'-mu
gi trongko
yan i labios-mu

I puti'on siha
gi langhet
gi hilo'-mu
yan i matå-mu

I pilan
gi hilo'-mu
gof takhilo'
yan i fasu-mu

Maila mågi nuebu na guinaiyå-ku
Gi hilo' un tåsi bula …

Not Another Ladrone Moment

I've spent the last year thinking a lot about Magellan.

Well as a Guam historian, I think about Magellan a lot and quite regularly, whether I want to or not.

But the particular ways I've been thinking about Magellan lately have centered around the fact that the 500th anniversary of the circumnavigation he led will take place in 2021.

There will be several voyages that will be following his route around the world and they will naturally stop in Guam in March 2021.

I was invited to a conference on behalf of Guam and the University of Guam last March, which was seen as being a launching event for the Spanish Navy for their anniversary commemoration.

I wrote about it on this blog as part of my Circumnavigations series.

Since then I've been working with a few other people, most notably Robert Underwood, David Atienza and Carlos Madrid on pushing for the development of a commission that can organize Guam's own events around this commemoration and also work with other countr…

Finattan Finayen Fino'

A special presentation by Chamorro Studies student at UOG as part of the 2019 MARC Seminar Series. Sen gefpågo este na dinanña'. Ya-hu taiguihi na fina'pos, sa' ta na'fåmta' i lengguahi ya ta na'gof oppan gui' lokkue'!

It featured presentations by students at the CM102, 202 and 302 levels. It also featured some very special presentations by my CM340 of Chamoru Culture students. One of whom Joe "Dågu" Babauta is included below in a video with his original song that he shared.

Gayera Authenticity

My two columns from earlier this year published in the Pacific Daily News on the ban of cockfighting in the US territories. I've been slowly working towards an article on this topic, targeting two main aspects. 

First, the debate over whether or not we can consider cockfighting to be part of Chamoru culture or whether it is really Chamoru or not. This is deployed in very interesting ways in this debate, as people seem to feel that if it isn't really Chamoru then it is ok and right to ban it. Whereas others tie to a strong, grounded sense of authenticity in contrast to perceived sort of softness of Americanized life.  Very interesting sort of discursive dancing around authenticity. 

Second, the role that Guam's political status plays in the cockfighting ban. Some people argue that we don't necessarily see Guam's colonial status at play here, since this is just another way that big government in Washington, the elites impose things on the little man. This way of framin…

Inacha'igen 2019 Schedule

TENTATIVEInachá’igen Schedule 2019 Inachá’igen Fino’ CHamoru  March 11 and 12, 2019 UOG CLASS Lecture Hall and Calvo Field House
Monday, March 11, 2019, CLASS Lecture Hall, 12 noon – 5 p.m.
12 noon                       Participants and Schools Registration                                     CLASS Lecture Hall opens
12:30 p.m.                   Monday Competition Opens Guam and CNMI National Anthems and Inifresi                                     Welcoming Remarks by Dean, CLASS, Dr. James Sellmann                                     Welcoming Remarks by Inachá’igen Chair, Siñot Joey Franquez                                     Housekeeping Matters
1:00 p.m.         Storytelling/Umestoria K - 1:             Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic                                                                                     Merizo Martyrs Memorial Elementary                                                                                     Kagman Elementary