Monday, August 26, 2019

KÅNTA : I SAINA-TA UN BINENDISE



DAVID PETER
One of my favorite singers of Marianas music


A song of blessing for someone leaving home. This happens a lot in the Marianas. People leave for the military. People leave for work in the US. Some come back; many never do.




Si nanå-mo un inecha (1) bendision-mo (2)
(May your mother pour your blessing on you)
masea måno hao guato.
(wherever you may go.)
I Saina-ta un binendise gi karerå-mo.
(The Lord bless you on your journey.)

Karerå-mo ti u chågo';
(May your journey not be far;)
fottunå-mo siempre un sodda'.
(may you surely find your fortune.)
I Saina-ta un binendise gi karerå-mo.
(The Lord bless you on your journey.)

I karerå-mo i atdao u inina;
(May the sun illumine your path;)
kåten påharo siha gi aire;
(the cry of the birds in the air;)
freskon månglo' siempre un guinaife
(a cool breeze blow on you)
masea måno hao guato.
(wherever you may go.)

Todo gåtbo siempre guinifi-mo;
(May your dream surely be all beautiful;)
tåya' siempre parehu-ña.
(surely it will have no equal.)
I Saina-ta un binendise gi karerå-mo.
(The Lord bless you on your journey.)


NOTES

1) Echa. Comes from the Spanish word echar, meaning "to chase out, fire from work" but also "to pour out." So "echa bendision" means "to pour out a blessing."

2) The traditional expression is "Si nanå-mo un inecha bendision-ña." "Her blessing," because she is pouring on you a blessing from her.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

ANSON'S ANCHOR



Commodore George Anson of the British Royal Navy visited Tinian in 1742, and lost an anchor.

Apparently, according to news accounts, it was found around 1829 by a whaling vessel stopping at Tinian. When the whaling ship lowered its anchor, it touched Anson's old anchor resting at the bottom. The anchor was taken down to Guam, rusty but in usable condition, where it was banged by Chamorro workers into bars and bolts, since someone was building a ship and needed those parts.

Monday, August 19, 2019

ANNAI MA AYAO I GUAKA



Here is a glimpse of agricultural låncho Chamorro society; the way they lived for 250 years until life after World War II took most of the people off the land.

People borrowed from each other in those days. A lot! Not everyone had everything, but those without X could borrow from those who needed their Y. That way, nearly everyone was covered.

This applied to animals, too.

One farmer might have fertile cows, but no bull to impregnate them. Another farmer down the trail might have a bull but no cow to get pregnant.



Alakunao in northern Guam


In 1922, this was Joaquin's situation. He had a bull, but no cow at his ranch in Alakunao. And so he asked Florencio if he could borrow Florencio's cow so that his bull could impregnate her.

Florencio considered the benefit possible for him. And so he agreed under these conditions :

1. The first baby calf born of the cow was to be Florencio's. The second would be Joaquín's.

2. If the cow died due to Joaquín's negligence, Joaquín would have to pay Florencio the value of the cow.

3. If the cow died and Joaquín was not at fault, both Florencio and Joaquín could still profit from the cow by selling the meat. In order to do this, however, Joaquín had to inform Florencio of the cow's death within 24 hours of finding out about the cow's death. That way, the meat of the dead cow would still be fresh enough to butcher and sell, to the profit of both men.

Well, a year later, Joaquín did find the cow dead on a Saturday morning at the ranch in Alakunao. He told Florencio, the owner, right up to the 24 hour limit, informing him of the death right after the 5AM Sunday Mass at the Hagåtña cathedral.

Florencio was not satisfied that Joaquín had taken proper care of the cow and was thus, he claimed, responsible for its death. Florencio took Joaquín to court but, in the end, Joaquín was exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

CHAMORRO EUPHEMISM


SPANISH PLAYING CARDS
Balåha


A euphemism is a nicer way of saying something.

"Passed away" sounds nicer than "died." That's a euphemism.

In traditional Chamorro culture, one doesn't come straight out and talk about sex. One finds ways to talk about it between the lines, around the bush. Hinting, suggesting.

There are many ways to do this. But the other day an older lady showed me one more way.

We were sitting across each other at a party and next to me was her older brother. Both, by the way, are in their 80s.

The lady started telling me about her brother, who was in his own world eating his food. He's hard of hearing anyway.

She was saying how he, a widower, met this younger lady "pues pumanggengge i dos unos kuåntos meses." The two "played panggengge for some months."

Panggengge is an old card game, using Spanish cards as seen above. The word appears in an old song, "Panggengge, panggengge kon kuåttro Españot."

So, literally, she said her brother and the younger lady played a card game, but the hidden meaning was not so hidden.

Monday, August 12, 2019

ÅSTA VERSUS ESTA



If you ever wonder how languages change over time, just keep your eyes opened.

It's happening right now, in our own times.

It's just a fact of life. Languages change over time. The English spoken today is not exactly the same English spoken 500 years ago. And neither is Chamorro.

It doesn't happen because the government changes it. It doesn't happen because a committee changes it. It happens because people change it. Without planning it, without intending it. It just happens.

Someone just starts saying something different, or someone gives an old word a new meaning, and it spreads, like the flu or cold.

We have had for several hundreds now two Spanish loan words with different meanings, and happening right now before our eyes (or ears) is that one of those words is taking on both meanings.

The first word is ÅSTA.

It comes from the Spanish word hasta, which means "until." In Spanish, the H is silent. It sounds like asta. So we can say the following in Chamorro using the word åsta :

Åsta a las dos. Until two o'clock.

Åsta ke måtai yo'. Until I die.

The second word is ESTA.

We know it comes from Spanish, but there are two Spanish words. One is esta, which means "this." And the other is está, which means "it is." Most people think the Chamorro word esta comes from the second Spanish word, está. Some even think the Chamorro word esta comes from the Spanish phrase está ya, which means "it is already there" or "it already is."

This would make sense because the Chamorro word esta means "already." So we use like this :

Esta måtto. He or she already came.

Kao måsa esta? Is it cooked already?


THE CHANGE

But now, many Chamorros have dropped asta and say esta when they mean asta.

Listen to this short clip of two different singers singing the exact same line. One singer says asta and the second says esta, even though the singer means asta. The line they sing is "asta/esta i finatai-ho," "until my death."




THE PROBLEM

When languages change, there is hardly anything anyone can do about it. We probably won't be able to stop people from abandoning asta and saying esta when they mean asta.

But now we have a harder time telling if they mean asta or esta. If esta can mean both "until" and "already," we now have to look for more information to know if they mean one or the other, because nowadays, "Esta a las dos" can mean EITHER "until two o'clock" or "it is already two o'clock."

Before, when asta clearly meant "until" and when esta clearly meant "already," we could easily tell the difference.

Now that esta can mean both words for many people, we have a harder time seeing the difference between "until" and "already."

So some of us old-fashioned people continue to say asta when we mean "until," and we say "esta" when we mean "already."

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

THE COINING OF "AGAÑA HEIGHTS"



Prior to 1944, there was no place on Guam called "Agaña Heights."

The area which we now call Agaña Heights was not considered one place before the war. The area was included in Sinajaña municipality and was known by the specific names of the separate smaller areas such as Tutuhan, Taigigao, Pa'åsan, Apugan and a few others. Even today, some people refer to these specific areas by these traditional names.

Here is a map of the area in the 1940 US Census :


1940

As you can see, there is an Agaña, a Sinajaña and an Asan but no Agaña Heights. The area now known as Agaña Heights was then a part of Sinajaña municipality.

A village breakdown of the 1940 Census shows that Tutujan and Apugan (now parts of Agaña Heights) were barrios of Sinajaña in 1940 :



1940


AFTER THE WAR

Immediately after the return of US forces to Guam in July of 1944 we see the first references to an area called Agaña Heights. It started with the US military.

It started with the US military because the area above the capital city had strategic military value. This was recognized even in Spanish times, which is why the Spaniards built a fort in Apugan, now a part of Agaña Heights, which still remains to this day.

From the heights above Agaña, one could enjoy a military advantage over the city below.

And so, the US military started referring to "Agaña Heights" as they fought the Japanese coming from the south entering into Hagåtña. Here is an example. A war reporter writes as early as August, 1944 about a machine gun placed at "Agaña Heights."



1944

But, just to be clear, the writer wasn't referring to an established, political entity called Agaña Heights. In other news articles at the very same time, reporters sometimes do not capitalize "heights," meaning they literally are saying "the heights above Agaña," rather than saying there is a specific municipality called Agaña Heights. Other reporters call it "Agaña height," in the singular. Again, "Agaña Heights" was not a village name in 1944. But the name did get its start right at the time of the American return to Guam.


LITTLE BY LITTLE....

And so, from the last half of 1944 until around 1950, people called the same area by two names; the traditional name Tutujan and the newly-coined "Agaña Heights."

The area received a lot more attention after the war than before. The military had a lot to do with that.
The US Navy used the Tutujan area a lot right after the war, and sometimes referred to the area as "Agaña Heights." The US used the area for the stockade of Japanese prisoners and even for Saipan Chamorros, Guam Japanese civilians and Japanese-Chamorros. Then, the US built Naval Hospital in the area.

So, here's an October 1944 report on military construction on Guam, mentioning a building project in "Agaña Heights."



1944

And yet, people didn't abandon the name Tutujan just yet, as seen in this court testimony given by Adolfo C. Sgambelluri, a civilian police officer, in 1945 :


1945


And, as you can see, Tutujan was still considered a part of Sinajaña in 1945.

This map of Guam was printed just a year or so after the end of World War II. In it, Tutujan is still the name of the area we now call Agaña Heights.


1945


CHANGE COMES SWIFTLY

But change was on the way and very quickly. By 1950, "Agaña Heights" was the preferred, and eventually official, way of designating that area of the island.

And so, in this 1950 Guam Census map, the area once named Tutujan in earlier maps is now called Agaña Heights, still considered a part of Sinajaña in 1950.



1950

One very nice example of how the name Tutujan phased out and was replaced by "Agaña Heights" is seen in the Catholic directory of Guam parishes. The switch to "Agaña Heights" occurred in 1948, just four years after the American return to Guam. The 1949 Catholic Directory, reflecting information for the calendar year 1948, no longer lists a parish located in Tutujan, but rather in Agaña Heights. Here's an example from the 1952 Catholic Directory.


1952

TUTUJAN OR TUTUHAN?

Both.

We were under Spain for 230 years so we inherited many spellings of our Chamorro names, both of places and of people, from Spain. In Spanish, J is pronounced like Chamorro or English H.

Juan and Jose, for example.

And so we get Chamorro names like Sinajaña and Inarajan spelled with a J. Or last names like Fejeran and Terlaje where the H sound is spelled with a J.

So while the move lately has been to stick with the H instead of the J (Tutuhan instead of Tutujan), older documents will still use the J and I don't think we're going to see many Taijerons and Tajalles switch to the H just yet.


REVIVAL OF TUTUHAN?




In recent years there has been some attempt to bring back the name Tutuhan from the past.

The grassy triangle at the eastern entrance of the village, popularly called "Triangle Park" was christened "Tutuhan Park" by the mayor some years ago.

The village marker in that area says Tutuhan. It doesn't say "Agaña Heights."




But efforts to do more, as in officially changing the name of the municipality to Tutuhan, have met strong resistance by some of the residents of Agaña Heights themselves.

Apart from stating that people are so used to calling the village Agaña Heights for over 70 years already, opponents to the reversion to Tutuhan say that Tutuhan is not an accurate name for the village since Tutuhan is only one part of the municipality. Specifically, Tutuhan is the name of the area around the parish church and the center of the village. But many of the village residents actually live in Pa'åsan, or Taigigao or Apugan and other areas within the municipal borders. Is it fair, they ask, to name the entire village by just one of the many areas making up the municipality?

But, some others point out, that shouldn't be a problem because that's the situation with a number of other villages. Barrigada, for example, includes Cañada, As Penggao, Leyang, Ungåguan, Lålo' and many other areas, but no one living in those areas minds if the entire village is called Barrigada.

One Agaña Heights resident told me that there is, perhaps, another, more important reason for keeping the name "Agaña Heights." "In the alphabetical list of villages," he told me, "Agaña Heights appears at the very top of the list. The letter T, as in Tutuhan, comes towards the bottom of the list, as in Talofofo or Tamuning."

Ai ke!

Monday, August 5, 2019

KÅNTA : ADIOS KERIDA


CHAMORRO MAIDEN
by Paul Jacoulet 


A song of lost love sung by Chris Kaipat of Saipan




ADIOS KERIDA
Farewell beloved.


1, Adios keridå-ho ya bai hu hånao
(Farewell my beloved and I will go)

sa' esta hu sen tungo' na guaha otro
(because I truly know that there is another)

guinaiya-mo mås ke guåho gi tiempo.
(whom you love more than me all the while.)

Ai sa' sen pinite korason-ho.
(Oh how very painful is my heart.)

2. Tumekkon yo' un råto ya hu hahasso
(I bowed my head awhile and was remembering)

i tiempo gi annai humihita.
(the time when we were together.)

Ai sen gåtbo lina'lå'-ta lao ti hu tungo'
(Oh our lives were so beautiful but I didn't know)

na otro esta nene ga'chochong-mo.
(that another already, baby, was your companion.)

3. Po'lo diåhlo ya bai hu sungon
(Just let it be and I will endure)

nu todo este piniten korason-ho.
(all this pain of my heart).

Ya un dia ma tulaika hinaso-mo
(And one day your mind changes)

ya un bira hao mågi nene gi fi'on-ho.
(and you turn back here, baby, by my side.)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

WWI CHAMORROS




When the United States entered World War I (late) in 1917, males aged 21 to 30 had to register for the draft. This included males who were not U.S. citizens but residing in the U.S., which meant that some Chamorro men living in the U.S. mainland registered for the draft.

These are some of them.

A few Chamorro men served in the U.S. military during World War I but directly from Guam. These are some of those who were already in the U.S. mainland in 1917 and registered. I don't know which of them actually were sent to war. At least one, who was in prison, probably did not go.

It's possible that one of these men was a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1917, but I'd look for documented evidence of that.

John (Juan) Crisostomo, born in 1884. He lived in Marin County in California.

Manuel Guerrero, born in 1886. Registered in New York, New York.

Frank (Francisco) Perez, born in1889. Living in Erie, New York.

Antonio Dueñas Materne. Born in 1891. Registered in Ohio. He actually rendered his name in the Spanish style; Antonio Materne Dueñas.

John (Juan) Herrero, born in 1892. Oakland, CA

Joaquin Aflleje Tydingco, born 1895. From Asan. Confined at San Quentin, CA

GC Felix. Born in 1895. Colorado. This was probably not his original surname (Felix) but many Chamorros did change their names when they moved off-island in those days.

Juan Tydingco. Born in 1896. San Francisco, CA

John (Juan) de la Cruz Flores, born in 1891. San Francisco, CA


Monday, July 22, 2019

PRISON BABY



In 1925, a woman named María of Hagåtña was serving time in prison for the crime of adultery.

María was married to one man, but broke her vow of fidelity to him and had relations with another man. Her betrayal was discovered, and she was tried and sent to prison.

The problem was she was pregnant.

When the child was born, a boy named Ramón, he was not given María's husband's last name, but rather María's maiden name. The child was María's, but not her husband's. Ramón's father's name was left blank on his birth certificate. Perhaps the father was the man with whom María had adulterous relations. But it could have been another, for all we know!

In order to give birth safely, the prisoner María was taken to the Naval Hospital. Once the baby was born, what to do with the baby? The baby could not remain under María's care, as she had more time to serve in prison.

The medical officer at the hospital gave the baby, with María's consent, to a Merizo woman named Dolores. Dolores and her husband José not long after went to court and, again with María's consent, became the legal parents of Ramón.

Why did the medical officer give the baby to Dolores? What was Dolores doing up in Hagåtña? At the hospital? Questions for which I have no answers.

José and Dolores were not relatives of María. They were not even from the same part of Guam. Perhaps they were childless and looked forward to raising the newborn Ramón as their own. Whatever the case, it was an act of charity for the couple to adopt a baby, the son of a woman in prison.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

ANTIGO NA KUENTOS



MÅTAI GI SINADDEN YU'US

He or she died in the bosom of God.


To place someone on another's lap is to sådde.





Sinasådde i patgon as nanå-ña.

The child is being held on the lap by his mother.

Sitting on someone's lap, especially when a child is sitting on a mother's lap, or the lap of some other caring adult, is a place of safety and security. So older people expanded the meaning of sådde to also mean a place of safety, which can be translated by the English word "bosom."

Originally, "bosom" meant a woman's breast. But over time it also began to mean a place of safety, as in the "bosom of Abraham," or when one's friend is a trusted intimate, he can be called a "bosom friend." A mother carries her child in her bosom.

When a Christian dies a holy death, having made a good confession and receiving the Last Rites, he or she can be said to pass from this life to the safety of God's hands, into His bosom.

Måtai gi sinadden Yu'us. He or she died in the bosom of God. A place of mercy and safety.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

SAIBOK


SAIPAN : SAIBOK CHOTDA or AGA'
GUAM : GOLLAI ÅPPAN AGA'


I enjoy the traditional differences between Guam and Saipan (and Luta and Tinian) in language and customs. I think these differences add color and flavor to our collective Chamorro experience. Just as a family would be less interesting if every child were exactly like the other, our Chamorro family is all the more interesting because of our differences.

These differences are very manageable if we simply adhere to the common-sense rule to "do in Rome as the Romans do." When I am in Saipan, I use the Saipan term. When I am in Guam, I use the Guam term. How difficult is that?

In both Saipan and Guam, we eat the same dish which involves cooking some starch (lemmai, chotda or aga' or suni; breadfruit, banana or taro) in coconut milk until most of the liquid in the milk evaporates and only the oil of the milk remains in white, bubbly patches.

In Saipan and the rest of the CNMI, the dish is called saibok. In Guam, it is called gollai åppan.

Gollai means "vegetable" and åppan means "the water in the dish has evaporated."

The late Escolástica Tudela Cabrera of Saipan explains :



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

THE CHARFAUROS FAMILY OF LIVERPOOL



JOHN (IGNACIO) CHARFAROS OF LIVERPOOL
in 1919


I wish I had more firm evidence to say conclusively that John (who was also called Ignacio) Charfaros is Chamorro, but I can't.

But I can say that there is a huge probability that he is Chamorro, and I would bet my last penny that he is.

All the documents that I have found, so far, say that John Charfaros was born in the Philippines. But I propose that he was not born in the Philippines, but rather in Guam.

Why?

1. CHARFAROS is not a surname found in the Philippines. From Ilocos Norte to Davao you can scour every inch of the Philippines and not find a Filipino with the last name Charfaros.

2. CHARFAROS is a surname found in Guam, specifically Hågat (and then spread to other villages). In the old days, people spelled Chamorro surnames in a variety of ways. Even brothers sometimes spelled their common surname in two different ways. To this day, we see this historical fact in names such as Megofña/Magofña, Tedpahago/Tedpahogo and Cheguiña/Chiguiña. In the Spanish records, Charfauros was sometimes spelled Charforos, Charfaulos and many other similar ways.

3. Many Chamorros overseas stated that they were from the Philippines or Spain, instead of saying they were from Guam, the Marianas or the Ladrones. The fact is that the Marianas were, for most of the 1800s, a part of the Philippines, which belonged to Spain. The Spanish Governor of the Marianas answered to the Spanish Governor-General in Manila, and he answered to the government in Madrid. When Chamorros were abroad, many people had no idea where the Marianas were, so it was easier for the Chamorro to say they were from the Philippines or from Spain, which technically was true at the time. Since Charfauros lived in England, which had even less reason to be familiar with Guam or the Marianas, I am not surprised he told the British authorities that he was from the Philippines.




From the Philippines? More likely Guam.
A donkeyman on a ship operated some of the ship's engines.


WHO WAS JOHN CHARFAROS?

One thing the records are consistent about is that John was born in 1882. The next thing we know, he is in Liverpool, England in 1912, getting married to a lady from Liverpool with Filipino and possibly Caucasian blood.

John would live the remainder of his life in Liverpool, a seaport city that welcomed many immigrants from all over the world.

His wife, Margaret Madeloso (sometimes spelled Maduloso) was the daughter of a Filipino, Gregorio, and his wife, a woman from Liverpool named Theresa Dair (or Durr). She was born in 1896, and was thus 14 years younger than John and married him at the tender age of 16. There are numerous families in the Philippines with the Madeloso surname, often spelled Madiloso, Madelozo and other ways. John and Margaret were married in the Catholic Church.

John was a seaman, which is probably how he left Guam in the first place. John is identified in half a dozen shipping documents as a crew member of this or that ship, sailing out of Liverpool.

John and Margaret had several children who died in infancy. But one son, Vincent, lived well into adulthood. I do not know if Vincent had his own children, who would have carried on the Charfaros name. It seems that he didn't.

John died on a ship, docked in Glasgow, Scotland in 1947. That makes him 65 years old at the time of death.


Liverpool


JOHN'S FIRST NAME

It seems that John's original first name was Ignacio.

In some records, he is called Ignasio, Inacio, Enasio, Enagnasio and even the Chamorro nickname for Ignacio, Inas (spelled Enos in the British documents). When he applied for naturalization as a British citizen in 1936, the announcement in a Liverpool newspaper gave both names; Ignacio and John as an alias.

Perhaps John was just an easier name for British people to say, rather than Ignacio (which they spelled in numerous ways!).




BY THE WAY.....

Charfaros was not the only Chamorro who ended up in Liverpool, England.

Sometime in the 1880s, long before Charfaros came, Juan Manibusan from Guam left his ship and settled in Liverpool, also marrying a women he met there. The difference was that Juan, his wife and some of his children moved back to Guam at the end of World War I.

You can google my blog post about them. Search for paleric+"a whaler who came back" or copy and paste this link :

http://paleric.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-whaler-who-came-back.html

I wonder if anyone in the Charfauros families on Guam have heard about Ignacio (John)?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

SERENO-PROOF AMERIKÅNO


CHAMORRO WOMEN IN 1902.
90 degrees but heads wrapped tightly in case of sereno!


This is a fictional work, "written" by a fictional statesider new to Guam.


I never feared the cool air. Until I came to Guam. Only then did I discover that the cool air can kill you.

I was only two weeks on Guam, moving here from Arizona, when I came into my landlady's house after mowing the lawn, both on her side of the property and on my side, where I was renting an annex.

She always welcomed me into her kitchen whenever I wanted, and since I was sweating profusely, I wanted a nice cold glass of her famous lemonade.

But instead of a warm welcome when I walked into her kitchen, she looked at me with an expression of horror and told me, "Get out of this kitchen! Can't you feel the air con????"

I said, "Yes! It feels good!"

"No, no, no," she said. "Sus Maria! Do you want to get sick? Go back outside and dry off for awhile. Then you can come inside."

Thus began my island education about the evils of cool air.

Do you have a cold? You probably got wet in the rain and walked into an air conditioned room.

Do you have a fever? Close the windows, turn off the AC, wrap yourself in woolen blankets and sweat it out. You kill a fever with heat. The last thing you want is cool air.

Do you have high blood pressure? High cholesterol? Back pain? A tooth ache? You must have walked into cool air.

Some days later, I had to get up at 4AM so I could pick up a coworker arriving at the airport. I was surprised to see my landlady already up as well.

"See you later," I said, "I'm off to the airport!"

"Not like that!" she replied. "It's sereno! You're gonna get sick if you don't cover your head." She gave me a hanky and I put it on my head. "At least when you're out of the car, cover your head till the sun comes up. Especially with your hair wet! You must have just showered."

Driving to the airport, I thought how blissfully ignorant we statesiders are about the dangers of the damp morning air. Sereno, as she said.




A few months later, I was getting out of my car when the heavens opened up and, out of nowhere, it rained cats and dogs. Unprepared for the unexpected rain, I got completely drenched. My landlady saw this happen, and saw me walk into my air conditioned annex.

The following day, she asked, "You're not sick? I saw you get soaking wet and walk into the air con."

"No," I said, "I'm perfectly fine."

"It must be your white genes," she said.

"I must be a sereno-proof statesider," I said with a bit of sarcasm.

Then last night, she called me on my cell phone.

"You didn't go to work today. Your car was here all day. Are you OK?" she asked.

"I'll live, but I think I have a 24 hour bug," I said.

Right away she said, "And knowing you, it will last exactly 24 hours. You're from the States."




Saturday, June 29, 2019

SERVANTS TRAVEL TO MANILA


MANILA
Around the 1920s


How times have changed.

Generally speaking, most Chamorros today would never consider working as a domestic servant.

But, in times past, many Chamorros were just that. And not just to foreigners, either. Many Chamorros worked as domestic servants for other Chamorros. The male servants were called muchåcho and the female muchåcha, words borrowed from Spanish for "boy" and "girl."

One indication how Chamorro attitudes about domestic service changed over time is the connotation those two words took on. The words muchåcho and muchåcha were considered too negative, especially if said in front of the servants, that people would called them lahi-ho or hagå-ho, "my son" or "my daughter," instead.

Working as a domestic servant had its advantages. Usually there was payment in cash, something more people came in contact with under the Americans but to which not all had access. Sometimes the employer would buy the servant work clothes. Servants could eat what was available in the house (later, of course). In general, by being in the home, office or environment of the boss, the servant could benefit from that environment.

When you worked for someone more affluent, who traveled abroad, you could, too!

In 1921, the Governor of Guam, Captain Ivan C. Wettengel, and his wife, wanted to travel to Manila. Accompanying them was First Sergeant Otto Cox, in the Marines but soon to retire. Cox was accompanied by his Chamorro wife, the former Dolores Borja of Sumay. With a bigger group of military and civilian passengers, they boarded the Army transport ship the USAT Thomas, which frequently stopped by Guam on its Pacific journeys.



The USAT Thomas docked in Manila in the 1920s


But the Wettengels and Coxes also brought their Chamorro domestic servants with them on the ship to Manila.

The maid of Mrs Wettengel, the Governor's wife, was Mrs. Juana Cruz. It's a common name, so I can't say which Juana Cruz she was in 1921.

The servant of Otto Cox was Miss T.A. Charfauros. I do not know what T stands for. Tomasa? Teresa? Teodora? Or the other dozen or so possibilities. I've looked through the 1920 Guam census for a single woman named Charfauros with a first name beginning with T.  I can't find one.

I can imagine Juana being told, "Pack our bags, Juana. We're going to Manila!"



PASSENGER LIST
showing Juana Cruz and TA Charfauros


Besides these Chamorro servants, Gaily Roberto Kamminga, and a Chamorro Navy man, Enrique R. Quitugua, were also sailing to Manila.

Juana Cruz and TA Charfauros were not the first, nor the last, Chamorro domestic servants to travel abroad, thanks to their employment. A former Spanish Governor of the Marianas and his wife even took their Chamorro maid with them back to Spain, where she lived and died.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

WHALERS IN APRA IN APRIL 1835

Picture of the Foxhound etched on a tooth of a sperm whale captured by the ship
The ship visited Guam twice in 1835


Apra Harbor was very busy in the early 1800s, with as many as half a dozen whaling ships anchored there at one time.

A Spanish ship, the Pronto, sailed from Manila to Sydney, Australia, in 1835, selling sugar, rice, cigars, molasses and various things besides. Before coming to Australia, the Pronto had stopped by Guam and reported the following whaling ships visiting the island at around the same time :

Walmer (British)

Cheviot (British)

Foxhound (British)

Samuel Enderby (British)

Henrietta (British)

Superior (American)



APRA HARBOR IN SPANISH TIMES

Due to the arrival of significant numbers of whaling ships at Apra from 1820 onwards, the once-abandoned village of Sumay was repopulated mainly by people from Hagåtña moving down there.