The Festival of Pacific Arts Publications Committee has been opening daily activities with Chamorro chants. The chants I am familiar with are about our ancestors or legends. This morning’s chant was about latte stones. I smiled, thinking how latte stones represent our independence as a people before colonialism.
„I’m really happy that we (decided) to include chanting to set a tone at the beginning of these workshops,“ said Victoria Leon Guerrero, Guam delegate. „Just the use of our language and the rhythm in the chants that we’re doing connect us directly to our ancestors and the spirits that are likely in the earth, beneath this building. So that what we’re doing is always guided by something deeper and rooted in our culture. This is something throughout the Pacific that we share – this belief that there are spirits in the land that inspire our arts. I think that these chants by Leonard Iriarte convey a connection to the ancestors, which I think is very unique.“
It’s spiritually refreshing to open our FestPac writing workshops by paying tribute to our ancestors. My poetry focuses too much on my emotions and not my history or my culture. Yet, after listening to chants these past four days, I’m starting to feel inspired.
„Me, as a poet, I think chant is poetry and poetry is chants,“ said Kisha Borja-Quichocho, another Guam delegate. „(Chant) is our way of channeling our ancestors.“
Chamorros who promote our culture through artful acts are admirable. / Guam Daily Post
Guampedia: Chamorro chants
The Chamorro people are the indigenous peoples of the Mariana Islands; politically divided between theUnited States territory of Guam and the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands inMicronesia. Today, significant Chamorro populations also exist in several U.S. states including Hawaii, California, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, and Nevada. / Wikipedia