Wednesday, December 30, 2015


+Governor Eloy S. Inos

The Inos family hails from Luta (Rota)

And the interesting thing about the family is that, at one time, the entire family named Inos consisted of one person! Luckily for the name, it was a male who could have children and pass down the name.

His name was Patricio Inos, and he was the son of Rita Inos. Rita had Patricio out of wedlock, so Patricio carried the surname of his unwed mother Rita. According to the hand written notes of a former Luta pastor, the biological father of Patricio was one Juan Taisacan.

Patricio married Juana Masga in 1912 and the rest is history. From these solitary roots, a family continued which produced educators, judges and civil servants, including the first Governor of the Northern Marianas who was from Luta, the late Governor Eloy Songao Inos who passed away in 2015.


Like all Chamorro surnames, Inos actually means something.

Inos is an adjective that describes something that fits easily into something else - a hole, crack, gap, cut....any tight or restricted opening.

So, for example, in the Chamorro religious hymn, I Flechan Yu'us (The Arrow of God), it says

Guåho magåhet lånsan Longinos
kalåktos, inos flumecha hao.

I am truly the lance of Longinus,
sharp, fitting, which pierced you.

The verse is talking about the sinner being like the spear or lance of the Roman soldier Longinus at the crucifixion of Jesus; how it was sharp and fit easily into the side of Jesus' rib cage.

So a hand that is just small enough to pass through a tight squeeze is inos.

A rat which is just small enough to go in and out of a narrow break in the wall is inos.

A round peg perfectly fit to be inserted into a round opening is inos.


It's interesting because sometimes it's difficult to find one Chamorro word which is an equivalent of an English word, but, in this case, I cannot think of a single English word which is an equivalent to the Chamorro word inos.

In the hymn above, I used the word "fitting" for inos because something inos fits into a tight opening. But "fitting" is only an approximate translation.


  1. My great grandmother's name was nee "Juana Masga Atalig."

  2. Juana was from the Atalig family known as "Tugong." Daughter of Don Benito Angoco Atalig & Brigida Mangloña (or Muña?) Masga.

    And yes, Patricio's father was a Taisacan but my mother, Laura Maria, never knew his name or who the family are.

    Patricio and Juana had three children together. Ana, Vicente, Emilio. Juana is from the Atalig family known as "Tugong."