Imåhen Taotao Tåno depicts the migration period of our CHamoru people. The CHamorus discovered the Mariana Islands approximately 4,250 years ago. They were exceptional seafarers and known to build the Acho latte (latte stones). They were direct descendants of the Austronesian speaking tribes that populated Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. With their gods, Fu’una yan Puntan and Fire God Chaifi, they created a civilization that continues to exist today. We welcome you to witness a glimpse of our past as you journey to the island of Guam (Guåhan), the largest island in Micronesia.
The CHamoru people hold strong to their cultural beliefs and practices despite colonization by the Spanish for over 300 years, the Japanese occupation, and now governed under the laws of the United States. Unique compared to other cultures, the CHamoru people established a matrilineal society. Today, regardless of western influences, it is still prevalent that the woman in the house holds a lot of dominance and respect as the magahåga.
Dances such as the bailan lina’la (dance of life), galaide (canoe), and ulitao (bachelors), were once a common activity in CHamoru society. Honoring the gods, rites of passage, imitating animals, seafaring activities and way of daily living through chanting and dancing were common practice along with oral traditions.