ginen tidelands

1 February 2013

~

“The fallen Latte is the sign. It is from within the row of Latte that we feel our strength. It is the
severred capstone that gives us Their message, ‘Ti monhayon I che’cho.’ We will not rest until the
Latte is whole.”

                              —Cecilia C. T. Perez
                              from Signs of Being—A Chamoru Spiritual Journey



~

“these latde stones
were moved from
the village of mepo
behind the military fence
to a museum—
but then they were moved
again to this park
for tourists

              [early prelatte period : prior to 1485 bc—500 bc]

“to build i guma’latte’
a traditional house
start with the foundation
the latde—

“find a stone that resembles
the haligi, the pillar
then find a coral head from the reef
for the tasa, the capstone

“to build larger latde
you have to go to the quarry

“first outline the shape of
the haligi and the tasa
in the stone like writing
the bones of a house

“then dig

              “an act

              relative to
              changing

              the official name
              of guam

              to its name in
              Chamorro

              Guåhan

“to move the tasa and haligi
[we] need rope

“peel the bark from
the hibiscus
cut into strips
dry and weave with
your hands
like this

              [intermediate prelatte period : 500 bc—1 ad]

or get coconut husk
soak and dry
and braid the strands
like this

                             “from
                            guaha :
                             there is
                             have
                            exist

                            the final ‘n’
                             denotes
                             possession of

                             Guåhan : a place that has
                            a place of resources
                             all-encompassing

“then [we] pull
the stones from the quarry
pull with your legs pull with
your arms your back pull with
your shoulders pull
from your bones and
breath and
blood

              [transitional prelatte period : 1 ad—1000 ad]

“pull the stones
to the land
that will hold the house

                                                                                    here?

“dig
to root
the haligi
fill the space
with rocks

              [larger latte period : 1000 ad—1521 ad]

“build a ramp of dirt to
the top of the haligi pull
the tasa and place it
on top

              “unlike Guåhan
              it is difficult to decipher
              the base word guam
                                          or its etymology

              guam
                            was predominately referred to as Guåhan
              from 1521 until 1898
                            in 1898 the treaty of paris signed by spain and us
              referred to the island as

              guam

              words instill ownership

“when all the latde stones
are placed in parallel rows then
[we] can build the house above

“the spanish called them casa
de los antigos
house
of the ancients
before they destroyed them
but many latde stones survived
just like us

              “the legislature finds that guam
                            shall herein after be
              Guåhan

              all references to guam shall be renamed
              or understood to refer to Guåhan

              And shall be
              the official designation

              of the island

“in the space beneath the house
within the latde stones
you can work
cook
build and shelter canoes
learn to navigate

              [early historic period : 1521 ad—1700 ad]

“the dead were buried
beneath the dirt beneath the house
woven into the roots of the latde
close enough to protect [us]

                                                                                    even if [we] were moved?

“even here
yan pago
hasso
i patgon-hu
hasso

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