5th Marianas History Conference Day 7 - 10

Page 55

The Matua’s Song

A Musico-Linguistic Approach to Decolonizing Chamorro Music History

By Michael Clement, Sr.

Abstract: Having been the first Pacific Island that Magellan set foot on in 1521, and being the only island stopover for the Manila Galleons, Guam has benefitted from early documented impressions of its ancient music. Spanish colonization/ missionization began in 1668. One pre-contact ceremonial song was observed and was notated by the Jesuits. It’s pre-Chamorro origins have remained unknown until now. When played on indigenous instruments, the melody gives a general Indonesian feeling. The lyrics are in the Chamorro language. Ethnomusicology articles on Java and Sumatran music customs give some relevant word meanings. Further research into Indonesian verb formations revealed one word that connects Chamorro and Indonesian betel nut traditions; it confirms the ceremonial nature of the Chamorro song and connects the Chamorro song to Indonesian origins, c. 700-1000 CE. This conclusion is supported by current Chamorro DNA results and migration, the archeology of the Chamorro latte stone, Indonesian rice, Chamorro linguistics, herbal medicine and ancient social custom. It provides a factual basis for ancient Chamorro music history and for further research in authentic music and dance.

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Presenter biography not submitted for publication.


Articles inside

Ginen I Gualo’

1min
pages 273-285

Gendered Households and Ceramic Assemblage

1min
pages 141-164

The Matua’s Song

1min
page 55

Burego’ Joyful Christmas Celebration

1min
pages 9-15

A History and Archaeology of the Pre-war Tuna Fishing Industry in Micronesia

1min
pages 225-240

Fishing Weirs at the Edge of the Parian

1min
pages 201-224

Matter of Time

1min
pages 135-140

I Hinanao-ta

1min
pages 243-272

Tådong Marianas

1min
pages 287-290

Guam 1668-1769

1min
pages 175-184

Origins of the People of the Mariana Islands

1min
pages 165-174

Japanese Archival Records

1min
pages 185-199

From Tourists to Asylees

1min
pages 1, 123-132

Camp Chulu

1min
pages 61-84

Celebrating 340 Years

1min
pages 17-44

Colonial Narratives

1min
pages 1, 85-103

Operation New Life

1min
pages 105-122

Long Term Effects of Colonization on Music

1min
pages 47-54

Slinging Stones And Fanoghe Chamoru

1min
pages 45-46

Refaluwasch and Chamorro Children’s Songs

1min
pages 57-58
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