Friday, May 8, 2015


The guitar is accompanied by the bibik or harmonica

Even in the 1970s when I was growing up, older Chamorro musical groups and singers often used an instrument that has recently all but disappeared - the harmonica, or bibik in Chamorro.

Bibik can also mean a hand-held whistle, like the one coaches use in sports.

The modern harmonica came about in the early 1800s and was very popular among sailors and whalers. It wasn't costly. It was durable and easy to carry around.

The whalers, and their tunes, made an impact on Chamorros in the 1800s as they visited Guam and sometimes the other islands of the Marianas.

John Perez (familian Bonño) is one of the few Chamorro harmonica players who play the old, traditional tunes besides other melodies in his large repertoire.

Here he shares about the older Chamorro musicians he knew such as his uncle Josafat Perez and also Jesus Franquez.

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