Sunday, September 4, 2011


By the 1930s, many, but not all, of the 300-some Chamorros living in Yap had Saipan roots, especially those who had moved to Yap only during the Japanese period.  Those who had moved over during the Spanish period were mainly from Guam.

They were a small community and missed home, as can be gathered from this little ditty composed at the time :

Todos hit ni Chamorron Yap / nihi ta fan malak Saipan
ya ta bisita i mañaina-ta / si ojii-san yan si obaa-san.

All of us Chamorros in Yap / let's go to Saipan
and visit our elders / grandpa and grandma.

Japanese influence is evident in the use of the Japanese informal titles for grandfather and grandmother : ojii-san and obaa-san.  But they do rhyme with "Saipan," so ke ya håfa?

Chamorros pronounced Yap the Chamorro way, with the Y as in Yigo and Yoña.

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