Friday, June 8, 2018


Apparently, to raise money for the American Red Cross on Guam in 1917, people could pay to see a movie (or was it a play?) and the proceeds went to that relief agency.

Officially began on Guam in 1916, the Red Cross started here right before America's entry into the First World War in 1917 and some of the first fundraising efforts went to support that cause.

The Chamorro leaflet says the following, keeping the original spelling :

Segundo Viajen Teatro
(Second Trip to the Theater)

pot y mas manmauleg na personaje
(for the best persons)

para y beneficion y Red Cross
(for the benefit of the Red Cross)

Gui Paingen Damengo Dia
(On the night of Sunday day)

26 de Agosto
(26 of August)

Ayuda i Red Cross yan unnamagufjao
(Help the Red Cross and entertain yourself)

al mismo tiempo
(at the same time)


Primera Clase 50 Centimos
(First Class 50 cents)

Segunda Clase 25 Centimos
(Second Class 25 cents)

Tiquet para este na teatro umabende guijeja mismo gui guima
(Tickets for this show will be sold right there at the house)

y teatro gui paingen Sabalo yan Damengo.
(of the theater on Saturday and Sunday evening.)


1. Chamorro borrows a lot from Spanish, especially when needing terms for things and concepts which were also imported from abroad, such as "theater." There are some Spanish loan words here which could have easily been replaced by indigenous terms, such as taotågue for petsonåhe. Both mean a "class of people," and Chamorro can and does use either term interchangeably. I man maolek na taotågue, or i man maolek na petsonåhe mean the same.

2. Then we see a borrowing from English. We can imagine that tickets were hardly needed, or used, in the Marianas during Spanish times. Our elders did borrow the Spanish word for "ticket," "billete," which would then be spelled in Chamorro biyete. But perhaps the word wasn't used much and so when tickets became more used when the Americans took over Guam, the people picked up the English word "ticket." Still, in this ad, "ticket" is spelled the Spanish way, using a Q instead of a K.

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