Tuesday, July 4, 2017

FAIFAI? OR FAFAI?



There is a beach just south of Two Lovers Point that is very popular with people seeking the sun, sand and surf.

Now if we could only figure out its name!

It is called both Faifai and Fafai, depending on who you talk to or what map you consult.

I have looked through several pre-war maps of Guam, and they all say Fafai.



This map above is from 1901. It spells Fafai with a Y; Fafay.



This map is from 1914.


This map is from 1941.


Finally, this map is from 1954.


There may be old maps that say Faifai, but, so far, I haven't found them.

It is also true that spelling mistakes were made in older maps. But, in time, most of these were corrected. In the case of Fafai, all the maps spell it Fafai (or Fafay) but never Faifai.

From Peter Onedera's book, compiling the place names of Guam, we find this :




The National Register of Historic Places also lists the beach as Fafai.

But, the name Faifai has recently become equal to if not ahead of Fafai in popular speech.




I haven't found a meaning, either, for fafai nor of faifai.


UPDATE

Numerous reader feedback says that the name of the place is pronounced Fafa'i. In other words, three syllables. Fa - fa - i.

This would suggest a connection with få'i, which means "rice seedlings" at the planting stage. There are several speculations why this coastal area would be so named.

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