What’s up at Guampedia?

History may be the past, but it’s always in the making.

Read about what’s going on at Guampedia–our current projects, new resources, news of events and announcements from Guam and the region.

Currents 671: A Guampedia Blog


Visit our new blog Currents 671. Our url is: http://guampediacurrents671.wordpress.com.

Guampedia Gift Shop Reopens!

Gift Shop CarouselLooking for something special for that special someone?

Nothing whispers sweet nothings to your sweetheart better than a gift from the Guampedia Gift Shop!

Now re-opened for business, the Gift Shop offers a selection of Guam-themed books and gifts for people of all ages and interests. Learn to speak conversational Chamorro or create tropical art! Read about adventures in World War II Guam, or rediscover new adaptations of beloved Chamorro folk tales!

Teachers, find resources for your students to learn about and appreciate Chamorro history and culture!

Ladies, find a selection of exquisite jewelry pieces designed exclusively for Guampedia by Chamorro Master carver-Body Ornamentation artist, Jill Benavente!

All items are produced by local authors or artists, or are books with stories that take place on Guam. We will continue to expand our offerings and products in the Gift Shop, so be sure to check back often!

December 14, 2014: 100th Anniversary of the Arrival of the SMS Cormoran II

cormoran IIOn December 14, 1914, the German raider SMS Cormoran II, made its way into Apra Harbor, weather beaten and low on fuel after traveling back and forth around the south Pacific, using evasive maneuvers to escape from Japanese warships during World War I. Commanded by Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt, the Cormoran arrived on Guam on December 14, 1914, and the captain disembarked to request from the naval governor, William Maxwell, enough fuel for the ship and 30-days provisions for the tired and weary crew. Due to tensions between the United States and Germany at the time, however, the governor refused the request and interned the ship and its crew for three years. During much of this time, the crew was treated as friendly guests who were able to socialize and interact with local military personnel and island residents. It was a unique opportunity for cultural exchange for the Chamorro people with the largely German crew, which also included individuals from China and German New Guinea.

When the US finally entered World War I on April 7, 1917, naval Governor Roy C. Smith, ordered the surrender of the Cormoran to the US. Captain Zuckschwerdt told the governor he and his crew would be willing to surrender, but he could not surrender the ship. The crew proceeded to scuttle the vessel–a large explosion causing the Cormoran to sink within minutes. Seven men died and the Americans rescued the crew, declaring them prisoners of war and sent them to various POW camps throughout the US. After the war they returned to Germany.

There is at least one family on Guam that are descendants of one of the Cormoran crew members–the Grays.

Guampedia recently received a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities to create some new entries and possibly an exhibit about the Cormoran and its three-year stay on Guam. We are also interested in learning more about stories others may have that were passed down to them from their grandparents or great grandparents or other elders. Please contact us at the Guampedia office if you have any information that you would like to share about this historic visit.

Read more about the SMS Cormoran II here.

Get your copy of 101 Amazing Facts about Guam!!

101 Amazing Facts About Guam, Book CoverImpress your boss! Amaze your friends! Become the “Guam History Go-To Person”–the one people ask about Guam history and culture!

Guampedia has just published 101 Amazing Facts About Guam, a quick reference to 101 facts about the people, places and events that will interest Guam history buffs, old and new.

Conveniently sized for your pocket, handbag, man purse/European carry-all, glove compartment, coffee table or the top of the toilet tank, these books are $20 and are available for pre-order, just in time for the Christmas holiday! They will be sold through the guampedia.com website here, 76/Circle K stations, I Puti’on: The Star in Chamorro Village, the Pacific Historic Park Bookstore at the War in the Pacific National Historic Park T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Piti, the University of Guam Triton Bookstore and Guinahan Chamoru at Sagan Kotturan Chamoru in Ipao Point.

Read about Guam and be amazed at our rich history and culture.

The 12th Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac)

Guam festpac logo 2016FestPac is coming to Guam in 2016!
Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities (CAHA) workshops in preparation for FestPac. The theme of FestPac 2016 is — “WHAT WE OWN, WHAT WE HAVE, WHAT WE SHARE, UNITED VOICES OF THE PACIFIC.” Guampedia has partnered with CAHA to put together a series of educational workshops to help local artists and other cultural practitioners and producers prepare for what promises to be an exciting festival for Guam’s residents and visitors! Explore workshops!

Explore Life on Pagan during the Japanese Era

pagan in the distance

Saipan historian Jessica Jordan from University of California San Diego has translated the self-published website by Okamoto Mariko and booklet of memoirs by Japanese residents living on Pagan during the Japanese era prior to World War II. Originally entitled, “Harukanaru Pagantô yo…” [Pagan Island in the Distance…], the website was published in 2000. The booklet features stories of life in this beautiful island under Japanese adminsitration, recipes and adaptations using local ingredients, and interactions with Japanese and US military.  You can access Pagan Island in the Distance here.

Sagan Kotturan Chamoru

sagan chamoruThe Inadahen I Lina’la’ I Kotturan Chamoru has officially opened Sagan Kotturan Chamoru (Chamoru Cultural Center) at Ipao Point, near the old Guam Memorial Hospital. Founded in 2006, Inadahen I Lina’la’ is a nonprofit, grassroots organization started by artisans and community members interested in understanding, preserving and promoting Chamorro cultural heritage, language and the arts. Covering nine acres, there are eight buildings to accommodate exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, tour visits, featured artists and cultural groups, and arts and crafts sales. Contact Raphael Unpingco at 671.688.7290 for more information, or visit their Facebook page at Sagan Kotturan Chamoru.

New World War II/Japanese Era entries

In the spirit of the Liberation Day holiday, Guampedia has just e-published several new entries about World War II- Japanese Era of Guam history. We’ve also reprinted a few chapters published earlier by the late Tony Palomo and the late Paul Borja, as well as other writers for the “50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Guam:”

And we’ve added some of based on our own research:

Check them out!!

Pacific Heritage Youth Summit

The Pacific Heritage Youth Summit was held July 13-17, 2014, and was an exciting event for young people across the Pacific region to experience and learn about protecting, preserving and promoting our heritage. Youth from Guam, the Northern Marianas, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and Marshall Islands met together for the first ever Pacific Heritage Youth Summit.

The Guam Preservation Trust, with sponsorship from the National Park Service Pacific-West Region, The Nature Conservancy, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, and the Guam Visitors Bureau made this inaugural event possible. The four-day Summit’s goals included providing middle and high school-aged students opportunities to engage in on-site, interactive learning experiences in historic preservation, conservation, and heritage tourism; preparing students to become future stewards of preservation and conservation communities to shape policy at the local, state, and regional level; and inspiring students to provide lasting impact on communities for generations to come. Guampedia staff Rita Nauta and intern Kristin Oberiano assisted with the organizing of the evaluation portion of the summit. For more information about the summit, contact the Guam Preservation Trust.

Guam Military Build Up

News Stories and Lectures
As the US plans one of its largest realignments of military assets in decades, the people of Guam struggle to grasp its impact to the island and its people. The planned military build up on Guam alone is expected to cost six billion dollars and will bring thousands of people to Guam, changing the island in many ways.

The move has brought national and international attention to Guam. Lectures, editorials and news articles are available here. Click on images or links to open. Learn more!

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