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In 2011, the first call out for Masters was made and 10 nominations were received. Following a prescribed process, 4 awardees received the Master’s recognition including: • Tan Pai Certeza – Sainan Suruhana or Master Healer • Frank Lizama – Sainan Hereru or Master Blacksmith • Greg Pangelinan – Sainan Lalasgue or Master Carver, and, • Eileen Meno – Sainan Bailan Chamorro or Master of Chamorro Dance Each of these Masters were honored individually by the Governor and the Legislature at their homes while surrounded by close family and friends.

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Certificates and Resolutions were presented to the awardees along with a tribute by Master of Chamorro Dance Frank Rabon. Having been to each of these presentations, I can tell you, they were all touching and quite a surprise to the recipients.

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This summer another call-out was made and those nominations are currently under review.

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The process is not an easy one by any stretch. Reaching out to the various practitioners, the quality of the nomination submissions, and ensuring that all the criteria are met is very important to ensure that the honor and prestigious title is appropriately bestowed. Believe me there are varied perspectives on what constitutes a Master and who should be awarded. That is why CAHA is focusing on increasing awareness of the program, its process, intent and meaning.

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The best news is that our local community is responding to the program. For the last three years, Louis Vuitton has featured presentations of our Masters in their main store at the Tumon Sands Plaza and the reception has been great. The funding received from LV has been used for apprenticeship programs with our Masters.

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Our local government is also participating by featuring the Masters poster series in public offices and more attention is being paid to our Masters by our elected officials. During the Annual Guam Micronesia Island Fair, the Guam hut features our Masters alongside our neighbor islands.

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But more needs to be done. 2nd Marianas History Conference 2013 ・ !19

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MHC2: Art, Culture and Science  

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