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Chief Taga Day festival set for Oct. 1-6 on Tinian

(MVA) — On Oct. 1-6, the Marianas will host the 2nd Chief Taga Day Festival, honoring one of its most legendary figures, the indigenous Chamorro chief Taga.

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Indigenous Chamorro mythology marks the House of Taga on the island of Tinian as the home of the legendary Chamorro chief.
In October 2018, Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicholas, center, receives a copy of a resolution honoring Chief Taga passed by the Tinian Legislative Delegation.  The 2nd Chief Taga Day Festival will be held on Oct. 1-6 on Tinian.  MVA photos

“Gineptin Ha‘anen Taga’” (Chief Taga Day Festival) will be held on Tinian, recorded as the place where Taga last lived and was buried. Tinian is also home to the House of Taga, a landmark on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the site of the largest standing limestone latte stones in the Marianas. Latte stones served as support pillars for ancient Chamorro structures.

The event is sponsored in part by the Marianas Visitors Authority.

Chief Taga is one of the most recognizable figures in Marianas history and mythology. In Spanish written records, Taga was recorded as aiding shipwrecked sailors off the reef near Tinian in the 1600s. In Chamorro mythology, Taga was known to possess superhuman strength, uprooting a coconut tree as a young child to catch a coconut crab and leaping from Rota to Tinian.

“Travelers today are looking for authentic experiences in the places they visit, and sharing our indigenous culture is one way to meet that need and grow interest in our destination.” said MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo. “The Marianas Visitors Authority is excited to again partner with the Tinian Mayor’s Office and Tinian Municipal Council to bring the story of Taga to life for visitors and residents.”

The festival will be held in Tinian’s main village of San Jose. Accommodations are available at the Tinian Ocean View Hotel, Fleming Hotel, Lorilynn’s Hotel, Tinian Street Motel,_Green Field Lion House, the newly opened Marpo Valley Inn and The Cabin. Camping is also allowed at Kammer Beach, where bathrooms, outdoor showers, barbecue pits, and pavilions are also available for use.

Activities include lectures, storytelling, and cultural demonstrations are planned for the week.

For more information, contact Chief Taga Day Festival Committee Chairman Joseph San Nicolas of the Tinian Mayor’s Office at 433-1802 or email.joesntiq@gmail.com, the 17th Municipal Council at 433-3470, or MVA field office supervisor Vida Borja at vborja@mymarianas.com or 433-9365.