Monday, October 20, 2014

HINENGGEN I MAN ÅMKO'




Gotgot i deffe'.

A toothless person is loose-lipped.


Someone who is gotgot says more than s/he should. S/he can't keep secrets. The gotgot person is very free with his or her information. S/he will tell on you and get you in trouble. Gotgot people make good informants.

Why?


But why should someone missing a tooth, someone doffe', be necessarily gotgot?

The reasoning of the elders is :

"Yanggen guaha fåtta gi kellat, man malågo ha' siempre todo i ga'ga'."

"If there is an opening in the fence, all the animals will surely run off."

Therefore, if there is an opening in the teeth, words will surely escape!






Thursday, October 16, 2014

FAMILY NICKNAMES : PINDAN



A branch of the Garrido family is better-known-as Pindan.

I ran into an older member of the family and asked her where the name comes from.

She said it comes from an ancestor (she doesn't know who) who was at a party and asked for some meat, saying, "Pendan fan guennao diddide' kåtne ya bai chagi." "Cut a little meat there and I will try it."

There is no such word pendan, either in Chamorro nor Spanish. People took it to mean the guy was asking that a piece of meat be cut for him to eat. Because the word was unheard of, people thought it was cute and used it to label the man himself, except that pendan became pindan.

The word pendan does exist in Spanish, but as a conjugation of the verb pender, which means "to hang, to be pending." Was the man asking for meat misusing the verb?

Many family nicknames are explained by family stories passed from generation to generation. Some of these stories have no basis in history. Sometimes the same family can have more than one story explaining the origin of their family nickname. So there could be other theories how this group of Garridos got the nickname Pindan.

The elderly lady who shared this story is the daughter of Jose Mendiola Garrido, the son of Juan Garrido and Dolores Mendiola. Juan and Dolores would have been young adults by the 1880s.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

KASTIGON YU'US : CORPUS CHRISTI IN 1894



Corpus Christi in 1894 was not observed with full solemnity.

The Governor, Emilio Galisteo, was erecting a new building for the principal school in all the Marianas, the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán, founded by Sanvitores more than 200 years before.

In order to get the building project done, the people of Hagåtña were tasked with providing the manual labor. In those days, Chamorros had to put in a certain number of days working on public projects in place of paying taxes. But, because this was happening very close to the feast of Corpus Christi, when Chamorros build Lånchon Kotpus (outdoor altars) for the Corpus Christi procession, the people could not attend to that religious project. Corpus Christi came, but no låncho. For us, it would be like Christmas without a tree, or New Year's without fireworks - but worse! A Christmas tree and annual fireworks are not obligations to God, but a låncho on Kotpus is!

Perhaps due to the rush job, the lime used for the walls of the new colegio was improperly made and, when an earthquake and heavy rains afterwards combined to put pressure on those walls, they came tumbling down.

The Chamorros saw it as an act of divine retribution for the failure to observe the feast of Corpus Christi with the complete attention it deserved.

What's also interesting is that some anonymous critic wrote words to that effect and posted it on the front door of the Hagåtña church.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A DIVORCE IN HAWAII



A most scandalous incident, leading to a bitter divorce, involved a Chamorro mestizo by the name of V. E. (Ben) Pangelinan and his wife Amy.

Ben was probably the son of Vicente Pangelinan, also known as Ben, who left Guam and settled in the Big Island. Ben senior died in 1903.

Ben junior worked for the inter-island transport the W. G. Hall.  This work took Ben away from his home, where his wife Amy was quite alone. Or so he thought.

Between 10 and 11 o'clock on the night of September 30, 1896, Ben came home, much to the surprise of Amy and her male friend, sleeping in the spot where Ben should have been.

Finding the door of the bedroom locked, Ben kicked it open. Ben had had his suspicions for some time, and planned this unexpected return for just this purpose.

Jumping out of bed, without a stitch of clothing on him, the man, later to be identified as one Arthur Jones, a clerk at a shoe store, tried to escape through the bedroom door. But Ben punched him hard enough to stun him into immobility. Ben then put Jones in a neck hold and proceeded to beat his head till it was bloody. Ben then forced Jones to sit, as naked as the day he was born, on a chair till the police came.

Jones was charged with unlawful entry onto private property. His hearing the next day had to be postponed, as he entered the court room with one eye covered with a leather patch.

Amy was also arrested, back in the day when one could get arrested for something called adultery.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

FINO' I MAN ÅMKO' : DIOS



Our mañaina who lived under the Spanish incorporated numerous Spanish sayings and expressions into their Chamorro speech; expressions that were never translated to Chamorro as they borrowed them. Our mañaina didn't need to translate them because, for the most part, they understood what the Spanish expression meant.

But we, today, lost our familiarity with Spanish quite awhile ago. I would say that mañaina born after 1910 or so probably did not understand the literal meaning of these Spanish expressions, though they used these phrases a lot. Growing up with mañaina born from 1899 to 1917, I heard these expressions all the time. I mean that. ALL the time.

Our mañaina didn't change the Spanish words, but they did, when necessary, change the pronunciation to fit Chamorro sounds.

In this post, I will focus just on the Spanish expressions referring to God (Dios).

DIOS NOS LIBRE

The expression means "GOD FREE US." It can also mean "God save us," as in Saint Teresa's quote, "God save us from gloomy saints."  So it doesn't mean "God free us" as in we're enslaved and need that kind of freedom, but rather freedom from harm.

Sometimes people would change it to "Dios te libre," meaning "God free you."

Rarely, I have heard older people say, "Dios nos libre de todo måt," in Spanish it's "de todo mal." It means, "God save us from all evil."  In Chamorro, we have the L sound, but not at the end of a syllable. So Spanish mal becomes Chamorro måt.

DIOS NOS GUÅTDE

The Spanish say "Dios nos guarde," but, in Chamorro, we don't have the R sound. It changes to an L (guitarra becomes gitåla) or a T when at the end of a syllable (tambor becomes tåmbot and guarde becomes guåtde).

The phrase means, "God keep us," as in "keep you safe and sound."

Again, the expression can be changed to "Dios te guåtde," "God keep you."

DIOS TE AMPÅRE

The phrase means "God protect you."

It can also be changed to "Dios nos ampåre," but I can't recall ever hearing that.

It's interesting because for every rule there is an exception, and this is one. We don't like the R and we changed it to an L or a T, but not in this case.

Dios te ayude

All this should remind us of a Spanish expression we hear frequently, which is the response given to someone who fannginge' the elder or the saina : Dios te ayude.

Dios te ayude is also Spanish, meaning "God help/assist you."

We pronounce the Y in ayude the Chamorro way, as in Yigo or Yoña.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PUNTAN PÅTGON



The tale of a strong boy jumping from the northern tip of Guam to Luta is one of the better-known Guam legends.  It can be found at http://www.guampedia.com/puntan-patgon-folktale/

But I find it doubly rewarding to know the story in one Chamorro-language version :

Un taotao gai patgon un låhe.
(A man had a male child.)

På'go annai lumamoddong esta,
(Now when he was grown already,)

metgot-ña yan matatngå-ña ke si tatå-ña.
(he was stronger and braver than his father.)

Annai ha li'e na metgot-ña ke guiya,
(When he saw that he was stronger than he,)

dinilalak asta i puntan i tano',
(he chased him away till the end of the land,)

ya man goppe desde ayo na punta asta Luta.
(and he jumped from that point over to Rota.)

Tånto ke man råstro guihe na punta yan Luta gi acho,
(Such that there was left a foot print at that point and in Luta on the rock,)

ya ma fa'na'an Puntan Påtgon desde ayo.
(and it was named Child's Point since then.)


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FIRST GUAM LEGISLATURE



The first legislative body in Guam with real legislative power. It was elected in 1950. They were all members of the Popular Party, the only party, really, to speak of at the time.

Speaker Antonio B. Won Pat
Vice Speaker Frank D. Perez

Vicente B. Bamba
Baltazar J. Bordallo
Eduardo T. Calvo
Antonio C. Cruz
Antonio SN Dueñas
Leon D. Flores
Manuel F. Leon Guerrero
Jose D. Leon Guerrero
Francisco B. Leon Guerrero
Pedro B. Leon Guerrero
Manuel U. Lujan
Jesus C. Okiyama
Joaquin A. Perez
Joaquin C. Perez
Jesus R. Quinene
Ignacio P. Quitugua
Florencio T. Ramirez
James T. Sablan
Joaquin S. Santos

Four Leon Guerreros!


Some Names

Won Pat - half Chinese. His father Ignacio was a cook for the U.S. Navy. His mother had Sumay (Borja) and Merizo (Soriano) roots. Won Pat was a teacher before the war. The Won Pat political legacy continues in his daughter, Judi Won Pat. Both father and daughter were Speaker of the Guam Legislature for multiple terms. Was Speaker of every Legislature except the 3rd and the 8th, and he thereafter ran for and was elected Guam's first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Frank D. Perez - founder of Perez Brothers.

Baltazar J. Bordallo - half Spanish. Father of the future Governor Ricky J. Bordallo, and father-in-law of current Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo in Washington, DC. Bordallo, together with F.B. Leon Guerrero (see below) went to the U.S. before the war to advocate U.S. citizenship for Guam Chamorros.

Leon D. Flores - half Filipino. His father (also Leon) was a Filipino revolutionary who was exiled to Guam for refusing to recognize American authority in the Philippines. He decided to stay on Guam and married here. His son Leon, the senator here listed, was Island Attorney for a while. Leon, the senator, was a Dungca on his mother's side; also a family with Filipino roots. Leon, the senator, was half-brother with Father (later Archbishop) Felixberto Camacho Flores, who also happened to be the Chaplain of the First Guam Legislature, and he can be seen on the left side of this photo. Leon was married to Josefina Torres Ramirez, sister of Florencio T. Ramirez, senator. Two brothers-in-law in the same legislature.

Francisco B. Leon Guerrero - would later oust Won Pat from the speakership in the 3rd Guam Legislature.

Manuel F. Leon Guerrero - a future governor.

Florencio T. Ramirez - future Speaker of the Legislature.

James T. Sablan - a Baptist and, I believe, the only non-Catholic in the Legislature. Shows that Guam's overwhelmingly Catholic voters at the time did not penalize him for being Baptist! Became an outspoken advocate for the reunification of the Marianas.

Monday, September 29, 2014

THE MURDER OF ALEJANDRO QUINENE



Chamorros have been marrying Filipinos for 300 years and have Filipino blood running through their veins.

In the 1800s, though, the Spaniards started to send to the Marianas Filipino convicts, or presidiarios. Obviously, at least some of these men would have had rough backgrounds, perhaps even a criminal mindset. From time to time, some of these presidiarios caused problems, giving Chamorros the idea that Filipinos could be pekno (murderous).

Chamorros, on the other hand, were more inclined to commit suicide than homicide. When the rare murder perpetrated by a Chamorro happened, it was usually a crime of passion; jealousy over a woman and things like that. But Chamorros thought the Filipinos were more calculating and daring; less hesitant to kill a complete stranger for sometimes the smallest of reasons.

In January of 1874, five Filipino convicts escaped from their work detail. The presidiarios weren't holed up in a prison cell all day long. In fact, many times they were given the freedom to move about, although with some restrictions, like a curfew. During the day, they were often put to work on public projects, such as road laying.

To show the mixed feelings held by Chamorros towards Filipinos, two Chamorro women accompanied the convicts as they made their way south to Humatåk! One was a single woman, Juana Mendiola, and a married woman, Maria Aguero, the wife of Pedro Gogo. Were these two women girlfriends/mistresses of some of these Filipino convicts?

The escaping party met up with a village official, who made the mistake of not arresting the convicts and taking them to Hagåtña, which is what he should have done, according to government policy. This error cost someone his life, for at some point the convicts came upon Alejandro Quinene of Malesso'. Quinene had a gun and a machete, and he was killed in order to obtain them.

Why the convicts didn't simply ask Quinene for those items is unknown. Perhaps, knowing that Quinene had the upper hand with that gun, the Filipinos decided not to negotiate but rather kill Quinene right off. It was a bloody murder. Quinene had a gash across his face, and gashes on the head, stomach, intestines and back. Poor guy.

The men then stole a boat owned by Lino Roberto, port official in Humåtak. The five were never heard of again, and it was suspected that they didn't make it, because the boat they stole was leaking badly.

The record says nothing further about the two Chamorro ladies.

The murder of Alejandro Quinene happened in the vicinity of Humåtak.




Chamorros even married some of the Filipino convicts down through the years. But incidents like the murder of Alejandro Quinene were the things that created in many Chamorro minds a negative stereotype of Filipinos in the 1800s.

Source : Crónica of Padre Ibáñez

Friday, September 26, 2014

A SAIPAN HYMN IS BROUGHT TO GUAM


Guam's Lepblon Kånta
"Katoliko" is not found in the Guam hymnal

"Katoliko" is one of the better-known Chamorro Catholic hymns in all the Marianas. But, oddly enough, it is not found in the Guam Chamorro Catholic hymnal, the Lepblon Kånta, which was printed before World War II.

The reason is because "Katoliko" was first sung in Saipan. We do not know who wrote the Chamorro lyrics. It does not appear among the hymns composed by the German Capuchins, so it was more than likely written during the Japanese period. Oral tradition says Gregorio Sablan (Kilili') may have had something to do with its composition. That means he probably assisted a Jesuit priest stationed in Saipan with the Chamorro text. Or, he could have composed the Chamorro lyrics entirely. Ton Kilili', as he was known, was the strongest lay leader in the Church in Saipan at the time.

After the war, Guam and Saipan became united under the one Catholic mission, or Apostolic Vicariate, based in Guam. Bishop Baumgartner was responsible for the Northern Marianas, as well as Guam (and Wake!).

Påle' Jose Tardio, a Spanish Jesuit, stayed on in Saipan till 1947 to ease the transition from him to the American Capuchins. Father Ferdinand Stippich, an American Capuchin who came to Guam in 1939 and who spoke basic Chamorro, was the first American friar assigned to Saipan. The Chamorros called him "Påle' Fernando."

It was he who thought it might be a good idea to send Saipanese choir members to Guam to teach the Chamorros of Guam the hymn "Katoliko." Maybe it was thought a good idea to create some contact between the Chamorros of both islands, since they were now, for that time, one Vicariate. The war was just over, and there were still bitter feelings among many Guam Chamorros about some Saipanese interpreters (and this lasted for well over 40 years). Perhaps they could find some common ground in their common Catholic faith.

As Tan Esco narrates, she was one of those sent to Guam to do this. As she says, a good number of Saipan Chamorros, as herself, had close relatives on Guam with whom she could stay. She implies that two families had a friendly competition who would house her.





Some notes on our dialogue :

1. Notice the way she disciplines the children to be quiet. 

2. She uses the expression "Manana si Yu'us" in the traditional way, meaning "When daylight broke," not as a greeting, which only came about in the last ten years or so.

3. She uses the word chatgon, meaning "cheerful, smiling."

4. Her word for "not yet" is the Saipan form tarabia, whereas on Guam it is trabia. Both forms are derived from the Spanish todavía.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ILEK-ÑA SI PÅLE'

Tamuning Sodality in the 1950s

Sermon preached in the 1950s

På'go na ha'åne para u fan ma profesa man nuebo na miembon i Hijas de Maria.
(Today new members of the Sodality will be professed.)

Magof yo' pot este siha na mañotterita ya hu gågagao si Yu'us yan si Santa Maria na u fan ma nå'e meggai na gråsia para gian-ñiha.
(I am happy for these young women and I ask God and the Blessed Mother to give them many graces to be their guide.)

Este siha na mañotterita man gaige gi gai minappot na edåt.
(These young women are at a difficult age.)

Mangokokolo' para u fan echa sottera.
(They are growing to become single women.)

Guaha siha meggai na tentasion.
(There is a lot of temptation.)

I anite siempre u fan tinientasiune para u ma komete isao, espesiåtmente kontra i santos na ginasgas.
(The devil will surely tempt them to commit sin, especially against holy purity.)

Yanggen este siha na famalao'an u na' fan fiet siha na man miembron i Hijas,
(If these women become faithful members of the Sodality,)

ya u fañåga chetton as Jesus yan Maria, siha siempre u fan siña bumense todo i tentasion i anite.
(if they remain close to Jesus and Mary, they will be able to overcome all the devil's temptations.)

Este siha na mañotterita manmanpromete as Jesukristo yan Santa Maria na u ha na' fan lamaolek siha na famalao'an gi manmamamaila' na tiempo.
(These young women promise Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother to become better women in the coming days.)

Hu felisisita hamyo mañotteritas på'go na ha'åne, ya hu gågagao na nungka nai en che'gue håfa na kosas ni para u fan dinesonra i Hijas siha.
(I congratulate you young women today, and I ask that you will never do anything to dishonor the Sodality.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

PORTUSACH VERSUS LEARY


Francisco M. Portusach
in a newspaper depiction

When the Americans captured Guam and arrested the Spanish government officials, taking them away from the island on June 22, 1898, Francisco Martínez Portusach, a Spanish-Chamorro mestizo and only American citizen on Guam at the time, claimed he was given verbal authorization by Captain Henry Glass, in charge of the American capture of Guam, to assume responsibility for the island's government. This was also what newspapers said, shortly after the event.

For half a year, Portusach's rule over Guam was contested by José Sisto, the last official of the Spanish government of the Marianas. Others, such as Venancio Roberto, Joaquin Cruz Pérez and William Coe, put forward by local committees or by U.S. officials passing through, also held title.

Finally, in August of 1899, over a year after the U.S. took possession of Guam but without establishing a firm government, Captain Richard P. Leary of the U.S. Navy arrived as duly appointed Governor of Guam.

Leary was not a popular governor. He was considered an authoritarian, military man with no ability to win the hearts of his subjects, nor having any desire to do so. He issued executive orders and expected compliance, or punishment.


Capt. Richard P. Leary
First American Naval Governor of Guam

He issued orders against the sale of local liquor (tuba, åguayente) to American servicemen. Many Chamorros lived with partners without benefit of marriage, raising illegitimate children. It was said that people did this because they had no money to pay the church fees for weddings. Other couples lived together without marriage because one was, and sometimes both persons were, already married but that relationship went sour. Since divorce and re-marriage were not possible under Spanish and Catholic laws, many resorted to simply living together. There is also the human factor, widely seen today in domestic partnerships, that the easy route is often the one chosen. Leary wanted to put a stop to concubinage, and issued an executive order to that effect. Later, Leary was to allow the first divorces on Guam. But many Chamorros found themselves in a complicated situation with the Church because of it.

Leary also expelled the Spanish missionaries, removed crucifixes from the schools, drastically reduced the number of public holidays (which were mostly religious), prohibited the ringing of the church bell before certain hours and halted religious processions in the streets. Many Chamorros found all this too much! Leary actually had to issue another order to enforce the prior order ending all religious instruction in the schools, since the Chamorro teachers had ignored the earlier order.

With the force of the pen, Leary thought he could compel every adult Chamorro to learn to write his or her name, solve the stray dog issue by mandating dog licenses for a fee, get more people to work the land, stop gambling, including cock fighting.

Even his fellow Americans, at least the lower ranks of the Marines, resented Leary's forceful manner. The men once tried to go on strike, and Leary threatened to shoot them himself if they didn't continue their work detail.



Hawaii headline announcing Portusach's arrival
On his way to Washington to lodge complaints against Leary

Francisco Portusach also had his run-ins with Leary. Portusach shared the same complaints the others had about Leary's heavy handedness. According to a newspaper interview, Portusach said Leary fined him $100 and put him in jail for a week, for reasons Portusach doesn't tell. The stress was too much for Portusach's wife, who took sick with typhoid and died.

Portusach said that Leary claimed he was supreme on Guam; he was the law. When Chamorros saw Leary from a distance, Portusach said, they'd say to each other, "There goes God." Portusach himself said that the U.S. Congress might have a thing or two to say about Leary's claim to be a law unto himself, and, when Leary retired as Governor in June of 1900, Portusach traveled to the U.S. making known to the American press the discontent many felt with the ex-Governor. One report says he went as far as Washington, DC.


One of many news articles in the U.S. about Leary's negative reputation

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CHAMORRO FORCED INTO WHALING



Some records of the 1800s state that some American and British whalers were not too technical about observing freedom of choice when it came to employment.

Whaling ships often had deserters. Other crew men died on the voyage. Whatever the reason, whaling ships were often in need of new, able hands, and any young man hanging around the docks was fair game for some captains.

In 1899, one John Sablan (he would have been named Juan, but renamed John when he became a crew member on an American ship), from Guam, claims that he was simply working on a whaling ship while it was anchored off Guam.  He was probably doing light maintenance work or repairs, or perhaps even just loading things on or off.

Well, according to Sablan, before you know it, the ship had lifted anchor and set sail; the island of Guam, with all his family, growing smaller and smaller on the horizon. Sablan protested to the ship's captain, all to no avail.

In time, he was "dumped" at San Francisco, California. Perhaps the captain regretted selecting this one individual to kidnap.

Sablan was not a man easily abused. He got himself a lawyer in San Francisco and filed suit in U.S. District Court against W.T. Storey, master of the whaling ship, the Andrew Hicks.  Sablan was hoping to get $5,000 in damages. Quite a sum.

Did Sablan win his $5,000? Did he stay and die in California?

Still trying to find out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I FUSIÑOS



So at some point, we don't know exactly when, someone introduced a new farming tool, or ramienta, in the Marianas.

The fusiños, along with the machete, became every Chamorro male's best friend.

It was used to dig holes or to uproot grass and weeds. The long handle, often made of paipai wood, made it work well as a thrust hoe. You lifted the fusiños diagonally and thrust in the opposite direction, and not much muscle was needed.



The fusiños blade, as seen above, had a tooth-like protrusion on one side, to be used when you needed to tug at something to pull away, like a difficult root.


PAIPAI




The wood of choice for the fusiños was the paipai (scientific name, Guamia Mariannae). First, this wood grew straight, so it could easily be made into a pole. Secondly, the wood was not very heavy, so it could be handled without being tiresome.

ORIGIN

Many sources say, without much documentation, if any, that the word fusiños is Portuguese. Whether that means the tool itself came from some Portuguese settler or visitor to Guam, is not known.

One wonders if this is probable. There were a few Portuguese men who settled on Guam, marrying Chamorros and raising families. For all we know, they introduced this gardening tool. But these numbered just 3 or 4, maybe slightly more, and most, if not all, came to Guam in the 1800s. It seems rather late in the game for the introduction of a farming tool that became so widespread in Chamorro farming.

It seems more likely that it was introduced earlier in colonial times by someone of greater social influence, like a government official or school teacher. Remember that the priests in Hagåtña taught many things, like agriculture, and not just reading and writing. The church school ran its own ranches, too, partly for the needs of the school. From there, new influences could spread all over the islands as the students left school to return to their families.

From the word itself, the name of this implement, we might gather some more clues. The common belief is that the word is Portuguese. Indeed, it is not Spanish.

But the Portuguese word focinho means "muzzle" or "snout," like a pig's snout. There is no other Portuguese word that comes close to the sound of the word fusiño that means anything like a farm implement.

But there is a language spoken in Spain that is closely related to Portuguese - Galician. Many people don't know that there are several languages spoken in Spain, not just Castilian, and that there are numerous local dialects with many words not used anywhere else except in that location.

And lo and behold there is a Galician word fouciño. The puzzle is that the current meaning of fouciño is a "scythe" or "sickle." While a scythe is used to cut grass, it is nowhere near a hoe.





The Fouciño de Ouro, or Golden Scythe
from a children's book in the Galician language

But then one must always remember that words in a language often change in meaning over time. Two or three hundred years ago, when the fusiños was probably introduced on Guam, there could have been an older meaning to a word now used in a different way.

It seems this is the case with fouciño in the Galician language. An older use of the word fouciño defines it as a hoe, with a long handle and a curved blade, used in pasturing or to cut branches and bushes with hard stems or stalks. The word is a synonym of the Galician word fouce, related to the Castilian hoz, which means "scythe." *

I think it is a better bet to say that our word fusiños comes from a Spaniard from Galicia (a priest? government official?) who either brought one to Guam where it was replicated, or perhaps even had the first one made right here, based on the tool he knew from back home in Galicia, Spain.

But, it's just a thought. People didn't document a lot of things back then. They thought it wasn't important enough to put to paper.

http://www.realacademiagalega.org/dicionario_rag/


Friday, September 19, 2014

FAMILY NICKNAMES : TITIRES



There is a Camacho family better-known-as the familian Títires.

There is a street named Títires in Maite and some of the family live in that area.

The word títeres is Spanish, the plural of the singular títere and it means "puppet" or "marionette."

But Chamorros added another layer of meaning to it, but one can see where they got it.

Påle' Román's older Chamorro dictionary says that titires can still mean "puppet."

But it can also mean a "buffoon, a joker, a clownish person, a jester."

Modern Chamorro dictionaries add the meaning "unruly" or "ill-mannered."

Since puppets are often used to act out comical antics, it's not surprising that Chamorros expanded the meaning of titires to include the kind of behavior puppets perform.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

SA' POT HÅGO NENE



I like the musical style of the Saralu singers.

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Mamomokkat yo' gi hilo' satge, chumuchupa yo' pues hu gimen kafe.
(I walked on the floor, I smoked and drank coffee.)

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Humånao yo' mamokkat ya hu a'atan hulo' i pilan;
(I went walking and looked up at the stars)
matå'chong yo' yan i gitalå-ho ya kumånta yo' ni man na' mahalang. (1)
(I sat with my guitar and sang sad songs.)

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Maolek-ña mohon yan ti hu sotta hao ya ta hita maigo'
(It would have been better had I not let you go and still sleep together)
lao yanggen lache yo' cha'-mo mamassa' fåfåtto ya un ga'chunge yo'.
(But if I was wrong don't hesitate to come and be with me.)

Umå'åsson yo' guine an puenge, bira bira yo' gi asson-ho, (2)
(I lie here at night, and toss and turn on my bed.)

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Humånao yo' mamokkat ya hu a'atan hulo' i pilan;
(I went walking and looked up at the stars)
matå'chong yo' yan i gitalå-ho ya kumånta yo' ni man na' mahalang.
(I sat with my guitar and sang sad songs.)

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Maolek-ña mohon yan ti hu sotta hao ya ta hita maigo'
(It would have been better had I not let you go and still sleep together)
lao yanggen lache yo' cha'-mo mamassa' fåfåtto ya un ga'chunge yo'.
(But if I was wrong don't hesitate to come and be with me.)

Umå'åsson yo' guine an puenge, bira bira yo' gi asson-ho,
(I lie here at night, and toss and turn on my bed.)

Sa' pot hågo nene muna' ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(Because of you, baby, I couldn't sleep last night.)

Ai, sa' pot hågo.....
(Oh, because of you...)
na ti maigo' yo' gi painge.
(I couldn't sleep last night.)

NOTES

(1) Mahålang is not exactly "sad." Triste is "sad." To be mahålang is to be deflated, low in spirits, missing someone or something.

(2) Åsson is "to lie down." Literally the song says he was turning and turning (bira) in his "lying down."


ORIGINAL SONG