Guampedia Entries

Entries related to seafaring already published in Guampedia.

Guampedia Special Sections

Special sections related to seafaring or history of culturally connecting to our Pacific Island brothers and sisters.

Seafaring People

People featured or contributed to Guampedia related to seafaring practices.


3rd Workshop: CHamoru Seafaring Lexicon Workshop

The third in the Connect Me | Create Me | Promote Me series, the CHamoru Seafaring Lexicon Workshop was held over two days in July 2014. The workshop was a follow up to an earlier 2009 meeting among the Chamorro seafaring community to create a lexicon of terms for various aspects of traditional canoe-building, seafaring and navigation. Presentations included an historical overview of the seafaring tradition in the Marianas and revitalization efforts, and discussions of on-going and new projects among the various Chamorro seafaring organizations.

To view the presentations and summary report of the 3rd workshop, as well as the seafaring lexicon, click here.

2nd Marianas History Conference

Poster presentation
A Blue Bridge Between Us

By Simeon Palomo

The “Saina” poster is in recognition of the 2009 voyage of a sakman, named “Saina”, that traveled between Guam and Luta, a feat that has not been accomplished for over 300 years. The “Saina” sakman is housed with the Traditions About Seafaring Islands (TASI) at the Paseo grounds. In designing the poster, Simeon used a model of the “Saina” by Guam artist Ron Castro, surrounding it with native plants – nanasu, niyok, and lada. The poster’s outcome produced a close up of the sakman model, with the nanasu leaves mimicking the strong waves of the Luta Channel. Simeon added, in the poster, quotes from TASI’s Frank Cruz, who was in the 2009 voyage, and Chamorro historian Toni Ramirez, to emphasize the personal and historical significance of the journey of the “Saina” to the Chamorro people. The poster is now on display at the Guam Museum. View poster here.

4th Marianas History Conference

Ancestral Secret: Discovering an Elusive Angle in the Sacred Geometry of the Sakman
By Mario R. Borja

Building a canoe does not make you a sailor; but it sure can help. This is about the discovery of an angle we stumbled upon in our quest to build the sakman, a single-outrigger canoe our Chamorro ancestors once built and sailed nearly three centuries ago. It starts with our curiosity about canoes once used to travel from one island to another. Our research led us to uncover more details of our own elusive seafaring history that would provide the data to begin our canoe project. One discovery after another has brought us to Guam with the canoe we have built. It was here in Hagåtña Bay that we discovered the purpose of an embedded angle that lay beneath our feet, an angle we constructed following ancestral design, an angle that would teach us how to sail the sakman. Read paper here.

5th Marianas History Conference

Audiovisual presentation
Navigating Cultures; Seafaring Returns to the CNMI
By the Northern Marianas Humanities Council

After centuries of absence, traditional seafaring is finding its way back to the CNMI. This movement is fueled by a cultural collaboration between Chamorro and Refaluwasch sailors and boat builders. While distinct, the seafarers of these groups have shared sea lanes since ancient times, and today maintain a passion for perpetuating the knowledge of their ancestors with the next generation of Pacific peoples.

Virtual Exhibits

Fanohge CHamoru Put I Tano-ta: Charting Our Collective Future

Fanohge CHamoru opened 28 March to 31 May 2022, at the Guam Museum. The exhibition was a collaborative effort between Kevin Escudero, PhD, a visiting scholar from Brown University, Guampedia, the Guam Commission on Decolonization, Department of CHamoru Affairs, and the Guam Museum. Odyessa San Nicolas generated the graphic design and layout. Drawing inspiration from the Guam Hymn and the Inifresi, from aspects of CHamoru cultural heritage and traditional values, and from artwork by artist Kie Susuico, Fanohge CHamoru highlighted the events and people from 1898 to the present that actively engaged in the effort to bring greater self-government for the people of Guam. It was the first such public exhibition that extensively presented this period of Guam’s political development. Read more about the exhibition here.

Section 6 of the exhibition titled, CHamoru Renaissance, refocuses on the integral part seafaring has on the CHamoru culture and language. Learn more here.