Thursday, August 11, 2016


Ma susede un desgråsia
as Malilok na lugåt.
Ya ti ilek-ho na ti un måtai,
na un måtai naturåt.

An unfortunate incident occurred
at a place called Malilok.
I never said you would never die,
only that you would die naturally.

This verse comes to us from the island of Luta (Rota).

Puntan Malilok is a place there, on the southeastern shore.

Chamorrita verses, or any poetic verse, are not always meant to be logical. Oftentimes they are meant to be nonsensical, humorous or satirical.

What unfortunate event happened at Malilok? It seems to be connected to someone's death. How was this person's death "natural?" Not murdered, that's for sure. Murder wouldn't be "natural." Did the person simply drop dead? Of a heart attack? Possibly. That would be considered a natural death, but would it be considered unfortunate?

Perhaps an accident killed the person, or a drowning. Something that could have been avoided and was thus unfortunate.

We'll never find out the verified meaning of this verse; the composer is long dead. The humor comes from the singer addressing the dead person posthumously. The dead person was never guaranteed a long life; only that he or she wouldn't die by murder, suicide or war.


Desgråsia sounds like "disgrace" but the word is borrowed from the Spanish and it means some misfortune or tragedy. This is the meaning in Chamorro as well.

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