The Cultural Design with History in Mind Workshop, 2013

Regional Arts Festival in Guam 2016

Art and History organizations offered workshop to prepare

In 2016, Guam hosted the Festival of the Pacific Arts, a regional festival showcasing the diversity of arts and performances from over two dozen island nations and territories throughout the Pacific. The Festival of the Pacific Arts, or FestPac as it is known on Guam, originated from an effort to preserve and develop local art forms and to celebrate and share cultural heritage. It also provided a means of passing on traditional and cultural knowledge from one generation to the next. The first festival was held in Fiji in 1972, and has been hosted by a different island country every four years.

The Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) spearheaded the organization of FestPac 2016, as well as organized workshops to assist local artists, artisans and other cultural producers to tell the story behind their work.

The first workshop, Cultural Design with History in Mind, was presented in February 2013 with assistance from the Guam Preservation Trust (GPT), Guampedia Foundation, local archaeologists Darlene Moore and Judy Amesbury of the Micronesian Archaeological Research Services (MARS), and Dr. Judy Flores, local artist and Pacific Arts scholar. The workshop provided information about ancient cultural designs found in the Mariana Islands based on archaeological and historical research and introduced as an online resource about Guam’s culture and history for artists and cultural producers.

Additionally, the workshop was intended to provide inspiration for various areas of artistic expression. Workshop organizers believed this information was vital for instilling confidence and pride among Guam’s delegation to appropriately use ancient traditional designs and motifs and to share their stories with other FestPac participants.

To view the summary report and presentations of the Cultural Design with History in Mind Workshop, click the links below.

Håfa Kumekelek-ña i Alåhas i Mañaina-ta?

The Meanings Behind the Treasures of our Ancestors
Dr. Judy Flores, Pacific Arts Scholar and Artist
Dr. Judy Flores gave a pictorial history of contemporary artists and their work in this presentation. Flores showed photographs of jewelry and carvings by artists today, as well as ancient artifacts that she believes have inspired artists because of their beauty and craftsmanship. These cultural objects evoke cultural pride and a sense of identity for those who admire and wear them. The information in Flores’s presentation is derived from her initial research for her Doctorate in Arts of Oceania for which she conducted several interviews in 1998 and took numerous photographs, as well as her Masters in Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam Micronesia Area Research Center (1996).

Judy S. Flores e-publication

Download presentation here.

Adzes, Fishing Gear, Beads and Bracelets

Shell and Bone Artifacts from the Mariana Islands
Judith R. Amesbury, Micronesian Archaeological Research Services
Judith R. Amesbury’s presentation showed a variety of shell and bone artifacts found in the Mariana Islands, as well as provided the historical context in which to understand archaeological findings of ancient designs of adzes, fishing gear and body adornment. She demonstrated the diversity of materials and the innovative skills used to create these objects as well as their use in daily life. She described four different types of cone shell beads from Pre-Latte to Latte Phases that were used to fashion a variety of ancient jewelry that has important implications for understanding the changing culture of the people of the Mariana Islands.

Judith R. Amesbury e-publication

Download presentation here.

Examples of Stylistic Designs in Marianas Pottery

Darlene Moore, Micronesian Archaeological Research Services
Darlene Moore provided an overview of the Marianas pottery sequence and examples of various designs and motifs used by the early Chamorros in producing their ceramics. Moore explained that the first people who settled in the Marianas brought their pottery-making skills with them, and began making pottery immediately from local clay. The earliest pottery vessels from 1500 BC to 500 BC have the most complex and intricate designs, but over time the designs became simplified, with vessel forms also showing modifications in shape. She described the distinct pottery styles such as Achugao, San Roque and Ipao, that characterize the unique pottery of the Mariana Islands and posits that vessels were not only functional but could have other important cultural practices associated with them.

Darlene R. Moore e-publication

Download presentation here.

Summary Workshop Report e-publication

Written and presented by

Download Summary here.