An Assessment of Preserving Latte Sites By Dave Lotz email@example.com Abstract: Destruction of latte sites began with colonialism, commencing with the Spanish who slaughtered the population while destroying villages, followed by the Japanese with the agricultural clearing of the broad terraces for sugar cane on Saipan, Tinian, Aguijan, and Rota. Last, the Americans furthered destruction with militarization, both by war and by construction of military facilities; and Westernization with rapid urbanization and population growth. This presentation will: provide an overview of the state of preserving the island’s latte – the most visible component of the heritage from the CHamoru legacy – and suggest ways in which the National Park Service could help preserve latte cultural landscapes.
Iconic Symbol of the CHamoru People Latte are the iconic symbol of the CHamoru people of the Mariana Islands and are a lasting symbol of the culture that once flourished on the archipelago prior to Western colonization. This presentation will provide an overview of the state of preserving the island’s latte, which is the most visible component of the heritage from the CHamoru legacy. First, some definitions: • A “latte” consists of a shaft, halagi, and a mounted cap stone, tasa. • A “latte set” is comprised of parallel rows of latte, usually 3 to 7 in a row. On the latte, a wood and thatch structure was constructed usually for habitation. • A “latte site” comprises one or more adjacent latte along with artifacts from the CHamoru habitation, usually lusongs, pottery, and midden. • A “latte cultural landscape” comprises the latte site and adjacent areas with vegetation that has been modified by the CHamoru, and outlying cultural features such as artifact scatters, walls, and trails.