Ulitao Traditional Seafaring Group Finds New Home at Valley of The Latte in Talofofo

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The group will hold a canoe carving summer camp next week.

Guam – The traditional CHamoru seafaring group Ulitao has found a new home at the Valley of the Latte in Talofofo. The group will offer canoe building classes from it’s new home along the Talofofo river.

 

The traditional CHamoru seafaring group known as Ulitao are now home-ported at the Valley of the Latte in Talofofo. “We hope to kick off this coming Monday to start the summer camp the summer canoe building with the kids,” said Ulitao seafarer Ron Acfalle.

Ancient latte stones, which were the pillars of traditional CHamoru houses, lie alongside the Talofofo river. “You know we are so honored to have Ron Acfalle and Ulitao the group that actually built this replica latte hut a few years ago to come back home and make it their permanent home. What we wanted to do is share with all of the people the ancient art of seafaring and canoe carving,” said Valley of the Latte Managing Director Dave Tydingco adding, “Ulitao represents what we have been looking for here. Give life to an actual Latte site to honor our ancestors.”

The Talofofo river is probably the only river on Guam that is large and deep enough for sailing vessels. The river flows right into the Talofofo Bay giving access to the ocean. In fact Ulitao founder Ron Acfalle believes this ancient village even has an ancient stand for canoes. “It’s a katsu it’s a stand where the CHamorus would place their canoes on top as a symbol I suppose, but it’s made out of clay and it actually has an asymmetrical design,” said Acfalle.

CHamoru canoes also have an asymmetrical design which is why Acfalle believes this stand is a perfect fit for their canoes. It’s also a reason why the Ulitao seafaring group is a perfect fit for the Valley of the Latte. “It’s a beautiful place to have it. What more than in an ancient grounds ancestral grounds,” said Acfalle.

Acfalle says Ulitao’s ultimate goal is still to sail a group of canoes to Hawaii for the 2020 Festival of The Pacific Arts.