To wrap up Mes CHamoru, Sagan Kotturan CHamoru (SKC) held numerous activities showcasing the CHamoru culture on Sunday.
SKC is managed and operated by Inadahen I Lina’la Kotturan CHamoru Incorporated.
The non-profit organization’s mission is to perpetuate, preserve and promote the CHamoru culture, language and history through education and demonstration of the various forms of traditional and contemporary CHamoru arts and crafts.
For Mes CHamoru, a number of workshops were conducted throughout the month from weaving with Guma’ Gela’, sling throwing, weekly food distribution with Guahan Sustainable Culture, and Hotnu baking.
In addition to the workshops, local artist Mark Dell’isola showcased his work as well as a mini-museum displaying items collected from Johnny Siguenza.
All events turned out well, according to Raphael Unpingco, the president of Inadahen I Lina’la Kotturan CHamoru.
Unpingco says SKC will be partnering with various local artists and organizations including the Haya Foundation, Sanctuary, and Guma’ Gela’ for future events.
“We would like to extend an invitation to all our local artists. We have space, if you want to make it work, we have a studio here waiting for you,” Unpingco said.
If any local artist would like to utilize the centers, you can contact Raphael Unpingco at 688-7290.
Meanwhile, Tony Matanona instructed the Hotnu baking workshop at Sunday’s celebration.
They baked rice ketupat and two pigs using the Hotnon Sanhiyong.
Hotnon Sanhiyong is a Spanish outdoor oven.
The interior is made from clay bricks, which is known as ladriyu, and the exterior is made up of lime cement.
Matanona said that he plans to conduct workshops in the coming weeks but needs donations to do so.
“I also want to teach them how to make pottery. We have this oven over here which is used for many things and we have the other main thing needed to make pottery, which is the clay,” Matanona said.
He added that it will benefit the younger kids who are the next generation.
Furthermore, 23-year-old Roquin-Jon Siongco — who is with Guma’ Gela’ — has been instructing the weaving workshops.
Roquin says that for Mes CHamoru, his students learned how to weave different types of hats, baskets, and bracelets using coconut leaves and pandanus.
In addition to the weaving workshops, his fellow Guma’ Gela’ members Eddie Acfalle taught writing while Clay Josh taught makeup.
Each class had an average of 12-15 students.
Roquin said that he plans to extend the weaving workshops past Mes CHamoru and plans to conduct them during PRIDE month.
He says that he enjoys sharing the knowledge and skills he has with the community because it’s beautiful to see people slinging and carving.
“Because in my mind, it’s not like every single CHamoru person has to weave but it should be just as common as knitting, sewing, knitting, or quilting. Like we see in other communities, I think it’s very valuable and definitely has a place in our society and within our culture,” Matanona said.
For more details, you can contact Guma’ Gela’ via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram @guma_gela.