Friday, February 10, 2012


An old map of the Malabar Coast of India
(look to the left side of the map)

It just goes to show how unisolated the Marianas were 400 years ago when you stop and consider that someone from India had been living among Chamorros since 1638!

In that year, the Spanish galleon, the Concepción, sunk off the southern shores of Saipan.  There were many survivors, from a variety of races as would be expected on a ship owned by an international empire as Spain was in those days.  Some remained in our islands and became part of the local scene.

One of them was a man identified as being Lorenzo from Malabar.  Malabar was the name of the southwest coast of India, where Portuguese and then Dutch traders set up shop.  Lorenzo ended up sailing on the Concepción, perhaps as a slave, and stayed in the Marianas after it sunk.  There were thousands of Indian Christians from ancient times living in Malabar, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Lorenzo was a Christian from birth.

When Sanvitores settled on Guam in 1668 (thirty years later), Lorenzo joined as a missionary and was killed by anti-missionary Chamorros in 1669 on Anatahan.  Imagine living with Chamorros for 30 years, learning the language and culture, then being killed by some of the people you've been living with for that amount of time.  We don't know if Lorenzo fathered children in those 30 years, or if some of us have his blood flowing in our veins.
Indian blood was spilled there in 1669

No comments:

Post a Comment