Film showcases CHamoru cultural identity through traditional seafaring navigation


A CHamoru artist based in Seattle, Washington wants to showcase his film about cultural identity through traditional seafaring navigation.

In collaboration with STTLMNT, an innovative year-long Indigenous Digital Occupation, artist and UOG virtual instructor Dakota Camacho, invites communities to engage in the video premiere of his film, Etak: an (un)traditional Micronesian Navigation chant.

“Etak is a traditional seafaring technology. It’s recognized in Micronesia both in the Carolinian islands but but also in Guahan, throughout the seafaring work and the contributions of a good collaborator and friend of mine, Jeremy Cepeda. I’m calling the film an untraditional Micronesian chant because for me, it’s a recitation of the genealogies of both my ancestral genealogy and the cultural and creative genealogy that have given life to my understanding of what it means to me be a CHamoru person at this moment in time,” Camacho said.

With Guam’s history of colonization, Camacho sees his film as a contribution of his perspective in terms of what healing is as an indigenous person and how this healing is connecting to Chamorro ancestral knowledge and bringing to life the practices of Inafa maolek.

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“I dive deeper into the different kind of meanings and practices that create a sense of goodness between me and my family and between me and my community, the Chamorro here (Seattle), the Chamorro community back home, but also the sense of goodness and good relation between me and the black community that has played a really big part of me and understanding what it means to be an artist, as an indigenous artist, particularly the black community here in the south and central district of Seattle,” Camacho said.

The filmmaker and cinematographer of Etak is Futsum Tsegai, who’s Eritrean and also based in Seattle, Washington.

The full feature film is still in production.

The premiere will feature the movie trailer, a 3-minute preview of the film, and a 90-minute live zoom engagement of performances and story telling by Cannupa Hanska Luger, Moneka Flores, Ojeya Cruz Banks, Gabriel Teodros, Vince Diaz and Camacho himself.

This event is supported by STTLMENT, API Chaya, 4Culture & The National Performance Network (NPN).

ETAK is also supported in part by a Nation Performance Network (NPN) Documentation & Storytelling Fund grant which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The ETAK video premiere and live multinational zoom conversation will be on Friday, March 12, 5:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time), 8:30 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) and Saturday March 13, 11:30 am CHST (Chamorro Standard Time)

Link for the video premiere and engagement is (