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Håfa ådai and Bien Binidu

Hello and Welcome!

I Taotao Tåsi, the People of the Sea

The Chamorro people, also Chamoru) are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, politically divided between the United States territory of Guam and the encompassing Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia. Today, significant Chamorro populations also exist in several U.S. states, including Hawaii, California, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, and Nevada, all of which together are designated as Pacific Islander Americans according to the U.S. Census. According to the 2000 Census, about 64,590 people of Chamorro ancestry live in Guam and another 19,000 live in the Northern Marianas. Another 93,000 live outside the Marianas in Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.

Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggests the Marianas Islands were settled around 3,600 years before present (ybp) from Island Southeast Asia (ISEA). Around 1,000 ybp latte stone pillars and the first evidence of rice cultivation appear in the Marianas. Both traditions are absent in the rest of prehistoric Oceania.

As master seafarers, our earliest ancestors navigated to the Mariana Islands from Island Southeast Asia over 3,500 years ago. They brought their knowledge and materials for survival. Modern CHamorus are the direct descendants of the Taotaomo’na, these first settlers. This is where our journey begins.

Before setting out on the ocean, our ancestors would ask the mananiti (ancestral spirits) for a safe return. Open ocean fishing was reserved for highly skilled navigators possessing traditional knowledge of the sea, sky, and sea life to guide them. When they returned with a catch, the best fish was offered to the revered skulls of deceased ancestors as an expression of gratitude to the Saina for their catch.


Our ancestral language, Fino‘ Håya, has been spoken by our people for 3,500 years.

Fino‘ Håya is a part of the Austronesian family of languages which links us to our origins in Island Southeast Asia

I Fino’ I Mañaina-ta, I Fino’ Haya, Guaha Kasi 3,500 Na Såkkan

Desde Ma Yuma Nu I Taotao-ta Siha.

Påtte i Fino’ Hàya gi i familian Austronesian na lengguahi siha nu i muna’fanachetton ham yan Islan Southeast Asia.

Our indigenous language has been passed down for over 150 generations.

Ancient CHamoru counting systems are being revived.

The tone and rhythm of the religious songs and prayers led by the techa are part of our chanting tradition.

Mapåsa Påpa’ I Fino’ I Taotao Tano-ta Para Mås Ki 150 Na Hinirasion.

Manalà’la i sisteman i manansiånu na tinifong.

I tunàda yan i kinalamten i padron i manrilihosu na sunidu siha, i kanta yan i tinayuyut nu i tinicha nu i techa pàtte gi tradisionàt na linalai.

We preserved our language through chants, songs, stories, legends, genealogies, prayers and proverbs.

Ta Adahi I Fino’-ta Ginen I Lalai, Kanta, Estoria, Lihende, Tålen I Haga, Tinayuyut Yan Atpahon Pat På’a’ Siha.


We deeply respect and honor our elders.

Mannginge’ is the way we show our most profound respect.

We learn from the wisdom and stories of our elders

We take care of each other.

Family members, neighbors and friends work together to thatch a roof.

Our elders teach traditional ways to our youth.

A baby’s christening is a joyful occasion for strengthening and expanding family ties.

We celebrate important life events as a community.

Many gather to honor the memory of a loved one and to comfort one another.

We practice traditional medicine and healing arts.

A traditional healer prepares medicine for a child.


Many of our beliefs are rooted in our ancestral values.

Inafa‘måolek – Working together for the benefit of the community.

Ina’dahi – Caring for each other and for our natural resources.

Ina‘gofli‘e‘ – Accepting others without judgement.

Respect is a fundamental CHamoru value.

We salute the Guam flag as a symbol of our island nation.

We venerate the cross as a sacred symbol of our Catholic beliefs.

We honor and preserve the artifacts of our past.


Our family lineages define who we are and link us to our ancestral clans.

Our extended family ties bind us socially to our system of chenchule’ (reciprocity).

Elders teach children to repair fishing nets.

Families share in the rearing of children.

Guam’s story of Sirena depicts the shared parenting role of Sirena’s mother and godmother.

We pass down traditional knowledge from one generation to the next.


We are a strong and resilient people.

We rebuild after every natural disaster.

We have survived the onslaught of war.

We have survived occupation under three flags.

We gain strength from our faith.

We Adapt and Innovate .

Our spirit, language and culture endures. From the very essence of my intellect The deepest within my heart, And every fiber of my physical strength, I make this self-fulfillling promise To protect and to defend The beliefs, the culture, the language, The air, the water, and the land of the CHamoru people Which are our inherent God-given rights This I will affirm on the Holy Bible And our banner, the Guam Flag. Written by Dr. Bernadita Camacho-Dungca, The Inifresi is our official pledge to protect our language, culture and resources.

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