21 Apr 2017
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
NO welcoming ceremony for the sakman took place at the opening of the Flame Tree Arts Festival on Thursday because the traditional Chamorro canoe, sailing from Guam, did not arrive.
Indigenous Affairs Resident Director Roman Tudela Jr. said the crew of the 33-foot sakman “are doing it the traditional way so their trip is very much dependent on the wind.”
He added, “What happened is that every time they go out, they catch the wind and sail a little, but they are not really moving this way.”
Indigenous Affairs Office program manager director Cris Ogo said the canoe was four miles southwest of Tinian as of Thursday afternoon, and the canoe should arrive on Saipan early Friday morning.
“Hopefully the wind will give them a lot of push because it is the wind that controls the sakman.” Ogo added.
Ogo said TASA, a non-profit group from Guam, built the replica of the sakman two years ago
There are six crewmembers on board the canoe headed by master navigator Tony Pialug. Two student navigators are also on board — John Castro of Saipan, and Ben Rosario, a former Rota resident who now lives on Guam.
The welcoming ceremony, according to Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter, will take place either on Saturday or Sunday morning.
“We will let the [crew] rest first and we will check on their condition, then we will schedule the welcoming ceremony,” Hunter added.
During the welcoming ceremony, Ogo said, “we will have an open house — let people inside the sakman and let them experience what it was like 200 years ago. The crewmembers will also go to schools and community centers to share their experience in using the wind and stars as their navigational guides.”