The Chamorro People
The Chamorro people are characterized by a complex social protocol centered upon respect, caring, accepting and helping one another. Inafa’maolek, or interdependence, is a central value in Chamorro culture which depends on a spirit of cooperation.
Historian Lawrence Cunningham in 1992 wrote, “In a Chamorro sense, the land and its produce belong to everyone. This is the armature, or core, that everything in Chamorro culture revolves around. It is a powerful concern for mutuality rather than individualism and private property rights.”
The culture is visibly manifested in the kissing of the hands of elders, passing of legends, music, dance, chants, courtship rituals, handicrafts, burial rituals, preparation of herbal medicines, and requesting forgiveness from spiritual ancestors when entering a jungle. Glimpses of Guam culture are evident in local legends and folklore such as the TaoTaomona (ancient spirits), doomed lovers leaping to their death off Two Lovers’ Point (Puntan Dos Amantes), and Sirena, a beautiful young girl who became a mermaid.