Tuesday, October 31, 2017


When a Chamorro speaker first hears about the last name Matagolai, they find it curious because the name happens to resemble two Chamorro words : måta (eyes/face) and gollai (vegetables). If taken as a Chamorro name, Matagolai means "vegetable face or eyes." The area around the eyes is called måta.

But Matagolai is not a Chamorro name. It just happens to resemble Chamorro words. Coincidences happen, believe it or not.

The first documented Matagolai we have is a female baptized Rita Matagolai, in Saipan, in 1857.  Her first name Rita comes from her Chamorro godmother, Rita de Torres. Her last name Matagolay (so it was spelled in those days) is her biological mother's one and only name, thus showing that her mother was an unbaptized Carolinian. Carolinians, like the Chamorros before they were baptized, had only one name, their given name. No last names existed in those days.

Then, in 1877, there is a newborn girl baptized in Saipan named Francisca Matagolay. Her mother is named Francisca Matagolay as well, and she is described as a native of Elato, in the Carolines.

In 1891, a Gerónima Matagolay married a Chamorro named Nicolás Ada. Gerónima's father's one and only name is Matagolay, meaning he is not baptized, and he is listed as a native of Satawal, in the Carolines.

And then in 1897 there is a Manuel Cruz Matagolay who is baptized in Saipan, the son of Vicente Matagolay, a native of Onoun, in the Carolines. The mother is Chamorro, a Carmen Cruz from Sumay, Guam.

By 1930, a Juan Cruz Matagulay, born in Saipan, was living on Guam, married to a Chamorro named Carmen Santos. Juan was almost certainly the son of Vicente of Onoun and Carmen of Sumay.

It seems that the Saipan branch spells it Matagolai, while the Guam branch (which originated in Saipan) spells it Matagulay.

So, the documents show three different Matagolay, all with Caroline Island origins in Onoun, Elato and Satawal. Although the Matagolai intermarried with Chamorros and became part of the Chamorro community, the family's earliest roots are Carolinian and their name is Carolinian as well.

Three islands in the Carolines with Matagolai connections


I came across another non-Chamorro surname that has a Chamorro meaning.

In the Philippines, there is a last name Matanguihan.

In Chamorro, this means "fish face" or "fish eyes." Måta (face/eyes) and guihan (fish). It can also mean someone who really likes fish, or craves fish, just as we say "matan salåppe'" for someone who always thinks of money or is desirous of money.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


October 27, 2017

This blog started on March 19, 2011 with a post about the San José fiesta in Inalåhan.

As of October 27, 2017 the blog has been visited over one million times in those six and a half years.

Si Yu'us ma'åse' and thanks to all readers and followers!


Here are the five top posts read by the most visitors :


Friday, October 27, 2017


June 8, 1901

Between 130 and 2 o'clock in the morning on June 8, 1901, the peaceful sleep of Dolores Blas, and her mother Teresa Espinosa Blas, was interrupted by the sound of their dog barking. The dog was inside the house where they were sleeping. The front door of the house had been closed, but it was not barricaded by a bar or some other object. In walked an American man, later identified as John W. Scaggs.

Scaggs entered their bedroom and proceeded to lie down next to Dolores, on her bed. He had in his hand a revolver, pointed at her. When Scaggs lied down, Dolores immediately got up to put on clothes in order to exit the house. She noticed Scaggs was quite drunk, and was able to grab the revolver from his hands. She hid the revolver and left the house with her mother Teresa. They went in haste to Sergeant Nicholas Kelley, who called on two more guards. They all returned to Dolores' house. While the two women waited outside, Kelley and his guards went in to find Scaggs sleeping on Dolores' bed. They got him up and escorted him to jail.

Scaggs was brought before judge Luís Díaz Torres. Scaggs testified that all he remembers about that night was going to the home of Sergeant Kelley and leaving quite drunk. He doesn't remember what he did afterwards. He was sorry if he misbehaved in anyway; it was never his intention to do so, but he got quite drunk. Asked why he carried a revolver, he said it was only for his own protection. He lived in Asan, and was going to walk home alone at night, so the revolver was for security.

The court put a lot of attention on the fact that Scaggs carried a revolver without a license. Scaggs responded that he had had a license for it when he worked for the US Navy the year before in the Philippines, and thought that license applied on Guam as well. He also claimed that an old American law said that anyone carrying at least $100 in coins or bills could carry a gun without a license (for protection). Scaggs was carrying $340 in his pocket that night. Quite a sum in those days!

Torres issued the following sentence. Scaggs was to be fined and his revolver sold in public auction, the money gained thereby covering the court expenses. At the auction there was only one bidder, William W. Rowley, who naturally won. Rowley worked for the Navy and many years later printed the Guam Recorder for the Navy.

Scaggs was 37 years old at the time, and an Alabama native. He worked on Guam for the US Navy as stable foreman, in charge of the Navy's horses and vehicles. Records show he was back in the Philippines a few years later, still working for the US Navy.

From a 1901 list of US Navy employees on Guam

Thursday, October 26, 2017


So this came as a surprise to me, but I heard it from an older member of the family as well as younger members.

A branch of the Quintanilla family in Hågat is known as the Orong family.

The story is that the patriarch of this family was a carpentry supervisor. It had to have been during the early American administration for the explanation to work, since it is based on English.

When he would go around and inspect the work of the carpenters, I assume on military projects, he would tell them, "All wrong, all wrong, all wrong," when he disapproved of their work.

"All wrong" became Orong in Chamorro.

The workers said, "This guy always says 'all wrong,'" and they started calling him Orong.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Santa Cruz, Hagåtña

Humånao si Chong para i gima' che'lu-ña as Dolores
(Chong went to her sister Dolores' house)

sa' para u fan lupok hånom gi tipo' na eståba guihe.
(to fetch water from the well that was there.)

Gigon måtto gue’ gi as Dolores, ha li'e' na eståba si Simona,
(When she got to Dolores', she saw that Simona was there,)

na man lulupok hånom lokkue’.
(fetching water as well.)

Ilek-ña si Simona gi as Chong, "Maolek sa' esta hit umali'e'."
(Simona said to Chong, "Good because we already see each other.")

Man oppe si Chong, "Ya håfa?"
(Chong answered, "And what?")

Ilek-ña si Simona, "Esta hao maleffa håfa hu sangåne hao gi halacha?"
(Simona said, "You already forgot what I told you a few days ago?")

"Hekkua'," ilek-ña si Chong. "Gaige ha' yo' guine på'go pot para bai fan lupok. Tåya' mås."
("I don't know," Chong said. "I am here only to fetch water. Nothing else.")

Lalålo' si Simona ya gotpe ha fåom si Chong ya ma tututhon i dos umagalute.
(Simona became angry and suddenly attacked Chong and the two began to fight.)

"Hu puno' hao, hu puno' hao!" sige de umessalao si Simona.
("I'll kill you, I'll kill you!" Simona kept shouting.)

Dångkulo-ña si Simona ya ha palopo si Chong ya ha ke ñukut gue' 
(Simona was bigger and got on top of Chong and tried to strangle her)

ya despues ha åkka' i kannai Chong.
(and afterward bit Chong's arm.)

Pot i buruka, guaha siha na besino manhuyong ya ma sepåra i dos palao'an 
(Due to the noise, there were some neighbors who came out and separated the two women)

annai ma li'e' na mumumu.
(when they saw them fighting.)

Despues, ma kotte si Simona ya ma pongle gue' gi kalaboso para trenta dias. 
(Later, Simona was taken to court and was put in jail for thirty days.)

I Señot Hues ha otden lokkue' si Simona para u apåse i mediko nu i gåston 
(The judge also ordered Simona to pay the doctor the cost)

i ma åmten i chetnudan Chong ni tinaka’ dies dias para u mågong.
(of treating Chong's wound which took ten days to heal.)

Lao håfa gi magåhet i tutuhon-ña i inadisguston-ñiha i dos? 
(But what was really the start of the trouble with these two?)

Ti ha sångan i dokumenton i kotte. 
(The court documents don't say.)

Lao debe de u guaha rason håfa na umachatli'e' i dos.
(But there must be a reason why they hated each other.)


Tupo'. Water well. Many homes in Hagåtña did have wells right on the property since Spanish times. That was their source of drinking and cooking water. Although there was a river flowing through Hagåtña closer to the shore, the city residents didn't drink that water. That water was used for laundry and other purposes. Even the well water was deemed unsuitable by the Americans, who then started piping in water from other sources (like Matan Hånom or Agaña Springs). Water from the city wells was usually brackish.

Simona and Chong. The story is from an actual court case. Although most court cases involved extensive questioning getting to the bottom of a story, this one oddly did not. It never asked why there was bad blood between these two women in the first place or, at least, it wasn't recorded.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


All over the Hispanic world, there are different kinds of rosquete.

The root word is rosco.  A rosco can mean a bread roll, a biscuit, a cookie....and many other similar things.

In the Spanish city of Cádiz, in the south of that country, they make a rosquete that looks like our own Chamorro version, but it is made with some ingredients not found in our own.

A kind of Spanish rosquete

So when Spaniards or Latin Americans brought the basic idea for rosquete to the Marianas, our people had to use ingredients that were available to them.

The Chamorro roskete is made of : flour, corn starch (a lot of it), sugar, butter, eggs and salt. Modern recipes add baking powder and vanilla extract (some use lemon extract), which I am pretty sure were not available in the Marianas 200 years ago. Even butter may not have been quite readily available in our islands 100 years ago or more. Some other shortening must have been used.

The Chamorro roskete is dry and crumbly. That is due to the large amounts of corn starch in the recipe. Because they are so dry and crumbly, mailing roskete to your loved ones off-island is an exercise in hope or optimism. They often become pulverized in the mail. Your loved ones in the States will receive roskete powder by the time it gets to them.

The traditional form of the roskete is to form loops with the rolled out dough. Many people today simply make medallions of the dough. Less work.

Personally, I prefer the "figure eight" traditional form of roskete. Because they are so dry, it is better to eat in smaller doses.

When a roskete is excellent, it has flavor. Am not sure if it is the vanilla extract or the eggs that impart that flavor. I know a lady who makes excellent roskete and claims it's because of her "secret ingredient." I have a suspicion it's Crisco.

But then there is roskete that has little to no flavor. It can become a mouthful of dry, sweet cookie crumbles in the mouth, best dissolved by a gulp of hot coffee.

Here's a video (in two parts, actually) showing how to make roskete according to one person's recipe :

And a link to another recipe for roskete :


Monday, October 16, 2017



Hinckley Alley was only a small, narrow street in the heart of San Francisco, straddling the area in between North Beach, dominated by Italian immigrants, and Chinatown.

It was a rough neighborhood, where saloon fights and petty crime were not unusual. People lived poorly, often in unhealthy environments.

There were people from all over the world living on Hinckley Alley, but in the area around house Number 17, there was a high concentration of Mexican Americans. And one Chamorro. Bonifacio de los Reyes.

Bonifacio was born around 1857 in the Marianas. In 1881, at the age of 24 or so, he arrived in the U.S.  He probably served on a whaling ship or some other vessel. Several years after arriving in the U.S., he married a Mexican American woman named Dominga. Everyone in house Number 17 (besides Bonifacio) was either born in Mexico or had family origins in Mexico. Besides Bonifacio and Dominga, there were the Mexican de la Rosa and Lopez families in the same house.

Many Chamorros who moved to the U.S. or Hawaii (an independent kingdom before 1893) married Hispanic or Portuguese women. The Chamorro language and culture being heavily influenced by Spain, that should be no surprise. Many Chamorros of the time knew some Spanish.

Working Class neighborhood of old San Francisco

Mexican tamales making was a specialty of Hinckley Alley. They fed the Mexican residents of the neighborhood, and anyone else interested in them. Bonifacio, married to a Hispanic wife, and knowing the Chamorro version of tamales , learned to make Mexican tamales and that became his source of income.

In the 1900 Census, Bonifacio and a housemate are described as "talmale (tamale)" makers

Sad to say, a local newspaper considered Hinckley Alley's tamales to be unsanitary.  The whole neighborhood was considered a filthy ghetto. Who knows what the real deal with the tamales was? The neighborhood buyers didn't think so, or else the tamales business would have dried up. I'd venture to say that the tamales sold at Hinckley Alley would not meet today's kitchen standards, but for the most part people back then living in the neighborhood had no problem with it.

The unfavorable report of Hinckley Alley tamales in the San Francisco Chronicle of 1892

Hinckley Alley was renamed Fresno Street after the great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. 

I don't know what became of Bonifacio. He and Dominga apparently never had children.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Peru was a great find for the Spanish colonizers. In Peru, the Spaniards found gold and silver, increasing the wealth of the Spanish Empire. Besides Mexico, Peru became an anchor of the Spanish Empire in the New World. From Peru, the arms of the Spanish realm spread out even to Guam. Peruvians were sent to the Marianas, including the famous Governor, Damián de Esplaña.

But things changed in the early 1800s. Starting in 1818, war to liberate Peru from Spanish rule broke out, ending in 1824 with the independence of the country. Political instability ensued, with one party fighting the others for political control. To raise money, the government in power at the time levied heavy taxes on the moneyed classes.


In order to protect their wealth, a group of rich Peruvians decided to gather their money, jewels and other valuables and hide them in a remote island of the Marianas. According to one account, $20 million in cash, jewels and artifacts was amassed. The rich Peruvians hired a schooner to take their fortune for hiding in the Marianas and had a banquet the night before the schooner was to sail.

One thing spoiled the plan. A British officer named Roberts discovered what was going on. He rounded up a group of cut throats and boarded the schooner while the dinner was going on elsewhere. It happened that the schooner's officers were also at the dinner, leaving behind a skeleton crew on board the schooner. Thus it was easier for Roberts and his brigands to seize control of the gold-laden vessel. Roberts stuck to the original Peruvian plan. He set sail for the Marianas.

Upon reaching the islands, he confided in two mates, Williams and George, and they buried the treasure in copper boxes under a volcanic rock on one of the Mariana islands. On top of the rock grew three coconut trees - a good landmark. Then they set sail for Hawaii, an independent kingdom at the time.

On the way to Hawaii, the crew members, who did not know what Roberts buried in the Marianas, found out and started to demand a share in the wealth. Roberts then set fire to the schooner and fled in one of the boats with his two associates, Williams and George, and a Peruvian cabin boy. Still on the way to Hawaii, George started to argue with Roberts, so the group used an oar to hit him on the head and throw him overboard. Roberts, Williams and the cabin boy made it to Hawaii, claiming that they had survived a ship wreck. Once in Honolulu, Roberts sent the cabin boy back to Peru. Now, only Roberts and Williams knew the location of the buried treasure.

Roberts then hired another schooner, the Swallow, to take him and Williams back to the Marianas to retrieve the buried treasure. On the way, the captain of the Swallow started to get suspicious of Roberts, especially when Williams disappeared. Roberts claimed that Williams fell overboard into the sea. The captain searched Williams' belongings and found a map of an island indicating buried treasure, but the name of the island was not identified. When the Marianas were in sight, the Swallow met up with another ship, whose captain was a friend of the Swallow's captain. The two captains discussed what to do about Roberts and the hidden treasure.

They offered Roberts two choices. Either help the two captains find the treasure, and be given a small share in it, or be turned over to the Spanish authorities in Guam. Roberts agreed to help find the treasure. But when Roberts was going down the ladder from the ship to the small boat below, which already carried the two captains, instead of getting into the boat, Roberts pushed it away with his foot and jumped into the ocean, from which he never came up. It was suspected that Roberts had filled his pockets and weighed himself down in order to commit suicide, rather than give up the details of the treasure's location.

The captains had their maps and notes left behind by Williams, but in spite of all their digging they never found the treasure. These maps and notes were then turned over to the Spanish government on Guam.

Enter another British captain, named Johnson. Being on Guam many years later, he learned about Roberts and the hidden treasure. He, too, got the bug to find it and hired a small ship and crew, relying on the treasure's location he learned from Williams' notes kept by the Spanish government on Guam. But, on the morning he was supposed to leave Guam and go north to search for the treasure, he discovered that the ship had gone. He suspected that the mate and the crew decided to go hunt for the treasure themselves and leave Johnson out of it.

This story, taken from a newspaper article in 1888 using Johnson as a source, differs in many details from Georg Fritz's account twenty years later of buried treasure in Pagan, which suggests that the two stories are of two separate events.

Unless Johnson's runaway crew found the treasure, there may just be millions of dollars' worth of buried treasure in one of the Mariana islands north of Guam. Which island is anybody's guess. Take your pick. And shovel. And go digging.

Where, oh where, is the buried treasure?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


In modern times, young people meet at the mall or the movie theater and many other places. In the old days, when there were no malls or movie theaters, you met your sweetheart outside her house, if her family allowed even that!

Grandma was sure to be peeking behind the window curtain while you and your sweetheart were talking.

In this song, the poor guy shows up but the girl is a no-show.

Sung by Sonny Flores and Joe Norita of Saipan.


Gi pupuengen Såbalo
(On Saturday evening)
sinireno yo'.
(I was in the coolness of dusk.)
Ya tåya' bali-ña
(And it was worthless)
kontratå-ta na dos.
(what the two of us agreed.)

Si Yu'us ma'åse' nene
(Thank you baby)
pot un dagi yo'.
(for lying to me.)
Na para ta asodda'
(That we would meet each other)
gi hiyong gimå'-mo.
(outside your house.)


Sereno. Borrowed from the Spanish language. In Chamorro (and Spanish) it means the night hours, either after sunset or right before sunrise and all hours in between.

The root word, sereno, means "serene, peaceful, quiet." In the old days, things quieted down at night. So sereno came to stand for the nighttime hours. Even a night watchman was called a sereno. Since dew forms in the night, even the dew was called sereno.

Chamorros traditionally have an aversion to the sereno. To be caught outside, especially without the head covered, in the sereno was to invite sickness.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Excerpts from a last will and testament (testamento) written in 1924 by a man from Inalåhan.

The man's orthography is heavily influenced by Spanish. There is no use of K, for example, and J is used for the H sound, as in Spanish, as in Sinajaña and Inarajan. I have taken the liberty to write it here in a more modern orthography. I am leaving out the last names, to respect the family's privacy.

Todos i lumi'e' este na påppet debe de u ma tungo'
(All who read this document should know)
na guåho Joaquin ____, taotao Inalåhan, Guam, 59 åños sakkån-ho,
(that I am Joaquin ___, from Inarajan, Guam, 59 years of age,)
kasao gi segundo asaguå-ho as María _____,
(married to my second wife María ____,)
ya kabåles todo i hinasso-ko ya guaha kapasidåt-ho
(and I am sane in mind and have the capacity)
para hu fa'tinas este på'go na påppet.
(to make this document now.)
Hu fa'tinas este na testamento ya pot ginagao-ho
(I make this testament and at my request)
hu na' tuge' si José ____ gi me'nå-ho yan i direksion-ho
(I have made José ____ write it before me and at my direction)
hu na' tuge' este siha mo'na na sinangån-ho :
(to write henceforth my statements :)

Fine'nana : Hu deklåra na i relihion-ho Katoliko Apostoliko Romåno
(First : I declare that my religion is Catholic, Apostolic, Roman)
desde i ninalå'-ho asta i finatai-ho.
(from my birth till my death.)

Segundo : Hu deklåra na i fine'nana asaguå-ho si Victorina ____
(Second : I declare that my first wife was Victorina _____)
ya guaha uno hagan-måme, na'ån-ña si Fabia _____ ya umassagua
(and we had one daughter named Fabia, married)
yan si Santiago _____ ya ayo na hagan-måme måtai
(to Santiago _____ and our daughter died)
ya guaha uno lahen-ñiha na'ån-ña si Jesús ____
(and they had one son named Jesús ____)
ya solo gue' na eredero.
(and he alone is an heir.)

Tetsero : Hu deklåra na på'go umassagua yo' gi segundo
(Third : I declare that I am now married a second time)
yan si María _____ ya tåya' ni uno påtgon-måme.
(with María _____ and we no child at all.)

He goes on in his testament to distribute different properties that he owns, all in the Inalåhan area, to his different heirs, and appoints one of them to execute his will.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


An old custom from Spanish times was to keep a light on all day and all night before the images of saints and our Lord.

Although there were more lights or candles lit before these images during prayers, those were blown out when the prayers were done. That one, special light that was never allowed to burn out without being immediately replaced was called the kåndet Yu'us, the light of God.

No matter what, the kåndet Yu'us was kept burning. If the oil was running low, it was refilled. If the wick (mecha) was about to born out, it was replaced. If the candle was near its end, a new candle was lit.

Here is how one lady explained it :

Gi gima'-måme nai, todo i tiempo guaha kåndet
(In our house, there is always a light)
pues an maleffa 'u, guaha na maleffa 'u nai, ni kandet,
(so if I forget, at times I forget about the light,)
man dåkdak gi petta ya ma ågang na'ån-ho.
(there is a knock on the door and my name is called.)
Pues ilek-ho gi as asaguå-ho, "Maleffa hao adei ti un po'lo i kandet."
(So I tell my husband, "You forgot to place the light.")
"Oh yeah."
Pues un biåhe lokkue' maleffa, kontodo guiya,
(So one time he forgot, even him,)
somebody knocked on the door,
ya ma ågang na'ån-ña.
(and they called his name.)
Pues på'go nai tåya' nu man maleffa ham ni kandet.
(So now we never forget about the light.)
Always. Uno para si San Antonio, uno para i ånimas,
(Always. There is one for Saint Anthony, one for the Poor Souls,)
an uno para si Santa Maria.
(and one for Blessed Mary.)
Ya i kostumbre-ta ni ngai'an para u måtai i kandet
(And out custom is never to let the light die)
ya ti ma songge ta'lo. Nuebo.
(and not light it again. A new one.)
Todo i tiempo ennaogue' mafanague-ko ni nanå-ho biha
(All the time, that's what my grandmother taught me)
sa' ma poksai biha 'u nai.
(because I was raised by a grandmother.)
Eyo na kalan biha diddide' i kostumbre-ko.
(That's why my customs are a bit like a grandmother's.)

Notice she said that there was knock on the door, and a voice calling out her name, if she (or her husband) forget to keep the flame burning. These are actions of the Poor Souls, or angels or the saints, reminding the people in the home to keep the flame alive.

There were some families who discontinued the custom due to one thing : fire.

One elderly lady told me that, before the war, they used an oil lamp for their kåndet Yu'us, and a rat came along and played with the wick and took it out of the lamp and it lit the cloth draping the altar and caused a fire in the house. After that, they no longer kept the kåndet Yu'us lit all the time. It was lit only for prayers when the family could keep an eye on the flame.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I came across a record of a farmer's sales to a local merchant on Guam in the year 1901.

What were some common items farmers sold to merchants to be sold in stores, and what prices did they fetch?

The farmer and his brother, first of all, were paid for their labor. One peso for the farmer and a little more, a peso and 50 céntimos, for the brother, perhaps for working longer hours.

Copra was a high-value commodity for most of that period. The farmer received 7 pesos and 20 céntimos for 240 pounds of copra (dried coconut meat). The Japanese bought plenty of copra, which was used mainly for the oil extracted from the dried meat. That oil was used in soap, shampoo, cosmetics and many other things.

The farmer also sold ten pounds of meat, two pesos worth. Three hundred pounds of actual coconuts brought in 9 pesos and 75 céntimos. Lastly, half a barrel of honey sold for 5 pesos. So here we have evidence that some farmers kept honey bees on Guam at the time.

This farmer made 26 pesos and 45 céntimos. That was not a bad sum in those days. You could buy a modest house of wood and thatched roofing for that amount.

Monday, October 2, 2017



Francisco Banig Ballesta was a carpenter in Hagåtña. Originally from Laguna in the Philippines, Ballesta was settled in Guam where he remained a bachelor.

One thing that kept carpenters in business was death. Funerals needed caskets, ataút in Chamorro. Since there were no morgues in those days, nor refrigeration, corpses decayed rapidly in our hot and humid conditions. Burial happened within 24 hours, usually. If someone died in the late afternoon or evening, the sound of the hammer knocking on wood could be heard in the night.

María's granddaughter passed away; the daughter of her son Vicente. She took it upon herself to find a carpenter to make a casket. She chose Ballesta. The agreement was for five pesos. The casket was made; the granddaughter was buried.

But three months later, Ballesta wasn't happy. He claimed that María had not paid one séntimo of the five peso debt. Tired of asking her, he filed a complaint in court for the five pesos.

María appeared in court and explained that, in the last three months since the funeral, she had given Ballesta suni (taro) worth 5 reåt (a Spanish coin, worth less than a peso); a chicken worth 1 reåt; and 12 reåt in coins, amounting to 2 pesos and 25 séntimos. Taking this into account, María stated that her debt to Ballesta now stood at 2 pesos and 75 séntimos, which she was willing to pay.

Ballesta said, "OK," and court was adjourned.

Ballesta, by the way, died in  Sumay in 1922 at the age of 106 years old! Well, that depends if there was solid documentation about his birth and people weren't going just by what he claimed.

On the left, a Spanish reåt coin

In those days, people paid debts with money, if they had it, or with chickens, eggs, vegetables....