Guam culture and language relationship

» Origin of Guam’s Indigenous People

guam culture and language relationship

The term “Chamorro” refers to both the people and to their language. Brief history of Guam in relation to the US: As part of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Culture: The original Chamorro inhabitants of Guam are believed to have arrived. Presents an overview of the colonial history and culture of the Chamarro people of Guam. The loss of the language was destructive to their identity and how Most indigenous people have a deeply rooted and emotional relationship to the. A shared history of colonialism and migration, a strong seafaring tradition and commonalities in culture and language connect the Philippines.

This concept bonds people to the idea that residents can live peacefully and productively when they act in the interests of the group rather than the individual. After the s, ethnic tension between Chamorros and Filipinos became pronounced. Today, there is tension between a growing population of islanders from the Federated States of Micronesia and various indigenous groups.

These tensions are exhibited more in the form of racial jokes than in violent acts. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space The latte stone house is the best known form of traditional architecture.

guam culture and language relationship

Eight to twelve stones are used for each house, lined up in parallel rows of four to six. The stones range from four to sixteen feet high and weigh forty thousand to sixty thousand pounds. The houses built on top of the megaliths were typically long and narrow. Modern houses are typically concrete structures able to withstand typhoons. Many families live in rural clan compounds where many members of the extended family live in close proximity.

The immigrant population dominates the urban areas, living in apartment complexes and condominiums. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life.

Food is a significant part of the cultural economy, reflecting an affinity with the land. Sharing food is part of a system of reciprocity based on a sense of perpetual interpersonal obligation. Daily foods include traditional staples such as rice, fish, breadfruit, and taro, in addition to growing quantities of imported foods such as canned goods, and fresh and frozen meats and vegetables, readily available for purchase at local grocery stores.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Each village celebrates the feast day of its patron saint. These fiestas draw large crowds, with prolific amounts of food prepared for reciprocal exchanges among clan members and friends.

Killing a pig or cow and preparing vegetable and seafood dishes are typical aspects of a fiesta. By circulating items of food and other material goods, and lending support when labor is needed, Chamorros maintain and strengthen links of kin and friendship.

During funerals, family members and friends give food, service, and money for nine days after the death. The family of the deceased acknowledges this support by reciprocating with money, goods, or services when those families are in need.

Guam's modern economy revolves around a growing cash sector and wage labor employment, particularly in the government and tourist industries.

Guam's national currency is the U. Land Tenure and Property. Land traditionally was owned by the clan as a corporate group. During the reoccupation by the U. These acts dispossessed many Chamorros, who had few assets other than land. The United States Congress later established private ownership of land.

guam culture and language relationship

Most residents work for wages and there is subsistence farming of bananas, papaya, guava, mango, breadfruit, and taro. The government funded by local taxes and U. The tourist industry is the largest private sector source of income. Hotels, restaurants, and entertainment provide for millions of tourists, primarily from Japan. Imports exceed exports in value by 17 to 1, as almost all of the island's manufactured goods are imported from the United States and Japan.

Both men and women work in the wage economy. In the nonwage sector, men and women share agricultural responsibilities, while men also engage in fishing and hunting. Women have traditionally managed family resources, including land and food. Social Stratification Classes and Castes. Chamorro society emphasizes respect for the elderly. The practice of manngingi"to smell" entails sniffing the right hand of an elderly person to express one's deep regard.

Before colonial rule, Chamorros recognized the power and authority of clan elders. Informal positions of authority were granted to elders who commanded the respect of their clan members. Elders could pool the labor and material resources of their clans in times of need. The class system has two categories: Symbols of Social Stratification. Class lines are not strict because most clans have members in both social classes, and the rich and the poor tend to live side by side within family compounds in rural villages.

Those outside the clan compound may live in modern housing subdivisions that congregate people along economic lines. Incivil and political rights were granted to the Chamorro people through the passage of an Organic Act for Guam by the United States Congress, which also granted U. Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Political life revolves around articulating, explaining, and defining Guam's ambiguous relationship with the United States.

The Organic Act established a unicameral legislature, a superior court, and a governor. Leadership and Political Officials. Leaders are elected and are predominantly of Chamorro ethnicity. These political officials come from the Democratic and Republican parties of Guam. These parties emerged in the s along cultural rather than ideological lines.

guam culture and language relationship

Party politics express historical clan rivalries more than differences in political ideology. Social Problems and Control. Uncontrolled population increases have contributed to a diminished level of social welfare in the last decade.

Overcrowded schools, hospitals, housing areas, and prisons reflect the social problems of overpopulation. Unresolved land problems, unrestrained immigration, and indigenous rights issues, along with substance abuse and domestic violence, are significant sources of tension. Navy and Air Force occupy one-third of the land and account for approximately 20 percent of the population. An air force base, a naval base, and a naval communications center form the largest concentration of military resources on the island.

Additionally, the local government, the Roman Catholic church, and private organizations sponsor programs to assist victims of domestic violence, homelessness, and terminal illness. Indigenous rights groups have gained international status through the United Nations, including groups such as Chamoru Nation and the Organization of Peoples for Indigenous Rights.

Chamorro culture had a balance in gender roles. Power within the clan belonged to both the oldest son and the oldest daughter. Women traditionally held power over the household, while men conducted affairs in the public sphere, including hunting and fishing. The oldest daughter cared for her parents in their older years.

Three centuries of colonialism have created much change, particularly in the public sphere. Men dominate political offices, and women are leaders in many social, religious, and cultural organizations. The Relative Status of Women and Men. After more than three centuries of colonial rule and the dominance of the Roman Catholic church on Guam, the relative status of men and women has changed in favor of higher status for men's roles.

Under both Spanish and American rule, men were selected over women to hold positions in any public capacity, whether in the government, business, or church.

Chamorro (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

Women's power in the household has largely been maintained through their control over familial resources, including the paychecks of husbands and children, and the labor resources of all family members. In the past half century, women have successfully found acceptance as elected officials and leaders of numerous government and civic organizations, although men still vastly outnumber women in positions of political leadership.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. The groom's family sponsors the marriage, providing the bride with her wedding dress and other items of value.

In addition, they throw a party to demonstrate their ability to provide for their new daughter. Traditionally, upon marriage, the woman was expected to relocate to her husband's clan land, although today this practice often is forgone in favor of whatever housing is available.

Chamorro language - Wikipedia

The extended family or clan, is the core of society. The domestic unit can include grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, cousins, and other relatives. The practice of poksai, a form of adoption, is common. In this system, childless women may raise a niece or nephew and grandparents may exercise parental control over a grandchild. Sons and daughters generally inherit land and other material possessions equally from both parents, with protections extended to the youngest child and any unmarried children.

The closest kin group consists of first and second cousins from the mother's and father's lines and may include godparents and their children. The system of clan names allows Chamorros to navigate relationships despite an abundance of duplicate surnames.

Clan names reflect kinship along male and female lineages in ways that surnames do not. Persons with different surnames may share a common clan name, revealing a relationship along the lineage. Generally, people place priority in the mother's clan line.

Their society was organized along matrilineal clans. The latte-stone was used as a foundation on which thatched huts were built. Antonio Pigafetta one of Magellan's original 18 said that the name was "Island of Sails", but he also writes that the inhabitants "entered the ships and stole whatever they could lay their hands on", including "the small boat that was fastened to the poop of the flagship.

Guam is the biggest single segment of Micronesiathe largest islands between the island of Kyushu JapanNew Guineathe Philippines, and the Hawaiian Islands. Spanish colonization commenced on June 15,with the arrival of Diego Luis de San Vitores and Pedro Calungsodwho established the first Catholic church. While the island's Chamorro culture has indigenous roots, the cultures of both Guam and the Northern Marianas have many similarities with Spanish culture due to three centuries of Spanish rule.

Captain Juan de Santiago started a campaign to conquer the island, which was continued by the successive commanders of the Spanish forces.


Francisco de Irrisarri y Vinar, controlled internal affairs more strictly than his predecessors in order to curb tensions. He also ordered the construction of schools, roads and other infrastructure. Jose de Quiroga arrived in and continued some of the development projects started by his predecessors. He also continued the search for the rebels who had assassinated Father San Vitores, resulting in campaigns against the rebels which were hiding out in some islands, eventually leading to the death of Matapang, Hurao and Aguarin.

Marines laying machine gun fire on a Japanese sniper nest during the liberation battle on Guam, July 28, After almost four centuries as part of the Kingdom of Spainthe United States occupied the island following Spain's defeat in the Spanish—American Waras part of the Treaty of Paris of Guam came to serve as a station for American merchant and warships traveling to and from the Philippines another American acquisition from Spain while the Northern Mariana Islands were sold by Spain to Germany for part of its rapidly expanding German Empirethen following the German defeat in World War I became a League of Nations Mandate in with the nearby Empire of Japan as the mandatory "trustee" as a member nation of the victorious Allies in the "Great War".