Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Nuebo na rai, nuebo na lai.

A new king, a new law.

I've heard this said only by one person, in his mid or late 80s, and that was ten or more years ago.

Am sure he learned it as a kid, so perhaps in the 1930s.

The idea is that it's a whole new ball game whenever a new guy takes over.

This was especially true when Guam and the Marianas were truly ruled more by man and less by rule.

Both Spanish and American military governors had wide powers. On paper, there were limits and these were observed to an extent. But some governors exceeded them and got away with it many times.

To be accurate, even some Spanish governors were denounced (fairly or otherwise) and had to appear before higher authority. Some American Naval governors also faced fire from the public and were then scrutinized by Washington.

Because of this, I am sure our mañaina certainly related to the proverb : Nuebo na rai, nuebo na lai. One didn't know what to expect with each new governor.

Even today, when we say we are under a government of laws, not men, each ruler's personal likes and dislikes, style and emphasis color his or her administration and affect people's lives to some extent.

1 comment:

  1. I have asked scholars, bloggers, and my mixed Chamoru family how the indigenous ones said "thank you" before the European's Christ was force fed to them and no one can answer! Do I have to use "arigato gozaimasu" with my pedestrian Chamoru for the rest of my time here?