Ancient Chamorro

Topics: Guam, Mariana Islands, Chamorro people Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: November 17, 2005
Ancient Chamorro

Where did the Ancient Chamorros come from? The Chamorro race has never been definitively proven, the original inhabitants of Guam are believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2,000 BC, and having linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Where did the word "Chamorro" come from? Chamorro comes from the native words "chamorri' or "chamoli" words which signify "NOBLE". Spanish dictionaries indicate that the word "Chamorro" means "to have the head shaved or to be bald." The study of language is one of the best ways ethnologists can find a people's origin. Usually, an area of many related languages indicates an area that many people have migrated from. By examining the languages of the world, we can see if any are similar to Chamorro. Linguists have found that Chamorro does not correlate closely enough to any other language to be part of a sub branch or even a branch. Therefore, Chamorro stands as a unique subfamily. The Chamorro language is like a person with relatives, but no close living relatives.Chamorro's closest relative is a "distant cousin" Bareic, a Hesperonesian Subfamily member. Ancients Chamorro's customs point to a Southeast Asian origin. The original inhabitants of the Mariana Islands had a social structure, including castes, matrilineal clans, men's houses, marriage customs, and government by headman leadership and decision making by consesnsus. Even their style of a deep-pit cooking, funerals, strategy in way, reciprocal gift-giving (chenchule') and sports seems to have Southeast Asian origins. The first historical document relating the general physical features of the ancient Chamorros, written by Pifigetta in 1521, described them as being tall, big-boned, and robust with tawny brown skin and long black hair. A typical adult male was five feet six inches tall. The present day Chamorros are mixtures of various ethnic compositions...
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