Thursday, November 15, 2012


Mafnas is a Chamorro name.

It's also a word, as are all indigenous Chamorro names, though many of them have meanings lost to us at this time.

But måfnas is still a word used by modern Chamorros.  It means "erased, wiped away."  It comes from the root word funas, which means "to erase or wipe away."  The Chamorro language likes to make shortcuts, so "ma funas" is shortened to måfnas.

Although it is a Chamorro name, it is rooted in Hagåtña, which is interesting because most indigenous names are rooted in the southern villages where less foreigners settled.  Hagåtña at one time became an almost foreign colony, made up of Spanish, Latin American and Filipino soldiers, many with Chamorro wives.  The surrounding villages such as Mongmong, Sinajaña, Asan, Aniguak and others was where the more pure Chamorros lived.  I suspect, therefore, that the Mafnases came from these outlying villages considered part of Hagåtña and gradually moved to the capital city.  One of the village officials in Pago in the year 1842, for example, was Luis Mafnas.

Today, of course, there are Mafnases all over Guam and one branch also moved to Saipan over 100 years ago.

One thing's for sure, ti u måfnas i Mafnas giya Marianas.  The Mafnases will never disappear in the Marianas.

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