The Chamorro People constituted the indigenous population of the Mariana Islands, which include Guam. Chamorro culture and language are of Austronesian origin and the main aspect of this culture is that it is matrilineal in nature and the Chamorro people believed in ancestral worship.
According to legend, Fu’una is believed to be the Mother of the Chamorro People and to this day, despite the advent of Spanish missionaries and Christianity, Fu’una is revered by the Chamorro people in the form of the Lasso Fu’a or Fouha Rock that guards the mouth of the Fouha Bay. This belief in Fu’una and the Chamorro culture of tracing their lineage through matriarchal lines has rendered women in Chamorro culture with immense respect and power. The ancient Chamorro people were highly skilled in fishing, horticulture and hunting. It was also a highly advanced maritime society. They also had extensive knowledge of herbal medicines. A remarkable feature of the Chamorro culture is the Latte Stone, which is unique to the Marianas and found nowhere else in the world. These stones comprised of two pieces (halagi, the supporting column made of coral limestone and tasa the capstone made of coral heads) have come to be the symbol and signature of Guam. These ancient structures are not touched and are treated with much reverence by the Chamorro people.
Exploring Guam’s Chamorro History & Culture
After the arrival of the Spanish, the advent of Christianity, the impact of Western culture, particularly American culture, and the influence of the nearby Japanese and Filipino cultures, Guam and the Chamorro people of today present a truly cosmopolitan way of life. But underlying all the modernity and outside influences, what sets the Chamorro people apart is the core of their indigenous Chamorro culture based on respect and ‘Inafa’maolek’ or interdependence. This is visible in their customs, rituals, music, dance, celebrations, games and even the practice of requesting the forgiveness of ancestors prior to entering a jungle. The culture is also known for its resilient nature that has withstood several external onslaughts.
If the Chamorro people and their culture pique your interest, you need to pack your bags right now and head for the tiny island paradise that is home to the Chamorro people – Guam. And once in Guam, you know where to stay – Days Inn Guam! Whether your interest in academic or simply casual, our courteous staff will only be happy to assist you in anyway possible, to understand this beautiful and resilient culture, its warm people and thoughtful traditions.
Come visit Guam and stay at Days Inn Guam!
[ Image Credit & Rights : K G Marsh ]