The grandest Pacific Islands festival is rapidly approaching. Only 23 more days until the Festival of Pacific Arts opens in Guam on May 22, 2016. The festival has been held every four years since 1972, and brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks of festivity.
This year’s theme is:
“Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte, Dinanña’ Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku”
“What We Own, What We Have, What We Share, United Voices of the Pacific”
- What we own (I Pa’an Taotao Tano’) – Our way of life, our identity as indigenous people.
- What we have ( I guinahan I Tano’ yan I Tasi) – Our resources from land and sea that have sustained our people for thousands of years.
- What we share ( Inaafa Maolek) – Our hospitality and our kindness that Chamorros give to all.
- United voices of the Pacific (Taihinekok) – Never ending of our people’s way of life, the respect from us and to us.
The Latte Stone: I Tasa yan I Aligi: Latte is the term for a pillar (aligi) capped by a hemispherical stone capital (tasa) with the flat side facing up. Used as building/home supports by the ancient Chamorro people, they are found throughout most of the Mariana Islands. Today, The Latte Stone is an icon of the Chamorro people, their strength and their resilience.
Sling Stone: åcho’ atupat. The signature weapon of the ancient Chamorro warrior, were fashioned from either limestone, basalt, or fire-hardened clay and were hung from slings of made of pandanus or coconut fiber. Today, these oval-shaped stones is part of the design of the official Guam flag and is incorporated into architectural designs. Like the latte, the slingstone is a cultural icon that exhibit Chamorro pride and cultural identity.
The Coconut Tree: Tronkon Niyok. The tree of life, symbolizes the resources of their land.
Blue Ocean & Outrigger Canoe: Tasi yan Galaide’: Symbolizes their ocean resources as well as connecting them with their pacific brothers and sisters through their seafaring knowledge and skills.
Check out the programming schedule that is currently available: 12th-festival-of-pacific-arts-matrix-schedule-20160421 (1). It is quite impressive.
Stay tuned! As we get closer to opening day, I’m sure there will be more news regarding the festival.