Thursday, September 6, 2012


I will be conducting a workshop on Chamorro culture in Torrance, CA (Los Angeles area) on November 3.  If you are in SoCal and would be intersted in coming, please use the contact info provided on this poster.  My last workshops were well-attended so the earlier you register the better.

This year, I want to present a view of where we've come from, where we're at and ask people where they want to go.


Hagas means "past," but can also mean "past and no longer present."  For example, one can say "i hagas guma'," "the former house, now no longer existing."

In this section of the workshop, symbolized by the pre-contact artistic rendition of our ancestors, I want to talk about the way we where before we knew about European culture.  It is our "remote past."  Hagas.  But the indigenous culture did not disappear entirely.  Traces of our hagas remain; some strong, some not as strong. 


Åntes means "before" and is a Spanish word, so it's a good word to use to describe what came just before us now.  We see in this photo Chamorro women dressed in the mestisa, adopted from the colonial dress of the Philippines.  This is the generation of our great-grandparents, who lived under the Spanish flag and were the new kind of Chamorro that was created from that interplay between the hagas and the åntes.  Traces of this remain today, much of it still in strong condition, though it is weakening.


På'go means "now, today." This is a new kind of Chamorro even still.  Some traits of the past remain in them, but many of this new generation have little connection with the hagas and the åntes; raised in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural maze we call modern Americanized Guam and the modern Marianas.  We also a huge group of Chamorros who have never even seen the Marianas.  What do they want, if anything, from the hagas and the åntes?  Where do they want to go?  College graduates jump in the air for joy.  But what lies in store for them and their cultural identity?

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