Safeguarding Ancestral Souls and Spirits: Indigenous Beliefs and Cultural Practices Preserved in Guam’s Taotaomona Narratives (81332)

Session Information: Cultural Studies
Session Chair: Clarisa G Quan

Saturday, 25 May 2024 10:20
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In spite of over 400 years of Spanish colonization and over 100 years of American rule, Guam’s indigenous Chamorros continue to preserve their belief the spirits of their ancestors – the taotaomona. Spanish colonization brought Christianity as well as over 40 percent of borrowed Spanish lexicon to Guam’s indigenous language - CHamorro. Tourists and nonChamorro settlers come from Asia, Micronesia, and the Philippines. Despite Guam’s multiethnic and multilingual community, the belief in taotaomonas has persevered among Chamorros perhaps because faith in them continues to reinforce traditional values that locals consider important. Analysis of over 200 context-free and context-bound taotaomona stories collected orally and in writing shows common themes and threads that show the enduring relationship between taotaomonas, humans, and the natural environment; between taotaomonas and the living; the sometimes uneasy one between taotaomonas and Christianity, between taotaomonas themselves, and the important role of the traditional curer, the suruhanu/a in dealing with Chamorros’ ancestral souls and spirits. Analysis of taotaomona narratives also contributes to the emerging field of environmental linguistics and ecolinguistics.

Clarisa G Quan, University of Guam, United States
Marilyn Salas, University of Guam, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Clarisa G Quan is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at University of Guam in Guam (USA)

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00