Saturday, July 9, 2011


I BABAU I 49ers


You think this is a typo?  That it should be Babauta?  Nope.

Besides Babauta, there was a family on Guam that went by the last name Babauña.  Like many of the Babautas, the Babauñas were from Hågat.

Why the 49ers banner?

Because babau, which is no longer used in modern-day Chamorro, means "banner," "flag" or "emblem" in the language of our ancestors.  The Spanish missionaries called the cross of Jesus the "babau Yu'us," the "emblem of God."  We could revive this word and use it when we speak Chamorro today, but we'd have to explain it a lot to others.

The Babauña family was reduced to one middle-aged woman, Manuela Babauta Babauña, aged 51 in 1897; and her children Pedro, Barbara, Felipe and Andrea.  Manuela is listed as a single woman, so her children were illegitimate and would have (usually) carried the Babauña surname.  Why the sons did not perpetuate the last name is a mystery, unless neither married.

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