Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am







    Monday, December 9, 2019-12:15:15P.M.






Font Size


Sakman may sail to Pagan

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The sakman built by Che’lu Inc. members in California, which recently made its debut in Guam waters, may sail to Pagan ahead of this summer’s Konferencian Dinana Islas Marianas, according to a statement from Pagan Mayor Jerome Aldan.

The Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity or Che’lu organization, led by Mario Borja and the sakman team, decided to build a vessel of the type the ancient Chamorros used in their seafaring voyages and sail the vessel for the 12th Annual Festival of the Pacific Arts.

“The sakman that just arrived in Guam from San Diego, California to participate in the Guam FestPac will join Guam Tasi Seafarers and thread the Marianas waters en-route to Pagan ahead of the pilgrimage,” the statement said.

Jerome AldanJerome Aldan

The konferencia is scheduled for mid-June this year, after the two-week arts festival. The Che’lu sakman Chamorro is a 47-foot canoe modeled after drawings of original canoes used by ancient Chamorros. It was built in San Diego by members of Che’lu Inc. The project was initiated in 2009 and shipped to Guam earlier this year, arriving late last month, in time for shipping carrier Matson’s 20th anniversary and months before FestPac.

The konferencia in Pagan will be a one-and-a-half-day event, according to Aldan. Currently about 20 inhabit the 18.24 square-mile Pagan, which has a history of volcanic eruptions and lush landscapes. Pagan is about 200 miles north of Saipan and about 330 miles north of Guam.

Because of limited accommodations, the Pagan conference is limited to 100 participants.

Aldan said in a statement that one of the criteria for determining who will participate in the conference is agreeing to “at least 50 hours of storytelling to others at home, in school, in the community and with diaspora communities.”

During the conference, participants will go on a study tour to the earliest settlements in Pagan, like Regusa Village, with origins that date back to the 1300s. Organizers are focused on several key initiatives for the conference, including cultural practices, healing, language, organic local foods, genealogical tracing, folklore art and re-connection, a statement said.

The “konferencia is unlike other forums, for it serves as a vehicle or a process aimed at inspiring aspirational conversations in re-awakening and re-connecting the islands’ ancestral heritage seemingly separated by geography,” the statement said.

The conference has been in the works for months now. Aldan visited Guam in January and addressed the Mayors’ Council of Guam about the trip. Several private sector and public sector partners have pledged to support the conference, including Cabras Marine Corp., Guam Preservation Trust, Department of Parks and Recreation and Bank of Guam, according to news files. According to Aldan, the trip from Saipan to Pagan will take 14 hours by boat.