4th Marianas History Conference 2019 Book II: Culture

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Ancestral Secret Discovering an Elusive Angle in the Sacred Geometry of the Sakman By Mario R. Borja Master Carver Sakman Chamorro Project-Guam sakman.mario@gmail.com Abstract: Building a canoe does not make you a sailor; but it sure can help. This is about the discovery of an angle we stumbled upon in our quest to build the sakman, a single-outrigger canoe our Chamorro ancestors once built and sailed nearly three centuries ago. It starts with our curiosity about canoes once used to travel from one island to another. Our research led us to uncover more details of our own elusive seafaring history that would provide the data to begin our canoe project. One discovery after another has brought us to Guam with the canoe we have built. It was here in Hagåtña Bay that we discovered the purpose of an embedded angle that lay beneath our feet, an angle we constructed following ancestral design, an angle that would teach us how to sail the sakman.

Welcome Hafa Adai. Thank you for your presence this afternoon. At our 2nd Marianas History Conference here at the University of Guam, I stood up here to share our Sakman Story, a story of the outrigger canoe we built in 2011 from a drawing of canoe once sailed here in the Marianas – the flying proa. This presentation today is an extension of that story. It is about a secret, an ancient secret, that we uncovered recently while out sailing our canoe. It was a secret imbedded in the very design of the proa, a secret that will help us to be better sailors. Please journey with me as we uncover this secret of old.