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Some [ who? By , there were under 1, Father Frances X. Hezel stated that Chamorus caught or reported engaging in pagan "sorcery" were publicly punished. Thus, a multiracially mixed Chamorro with European descent and a Spanish surname may not necessarily have Spanish blood, any more than Filipinos with Spanish surnames do. Because the Marianas are a part of the United States , the Chamoru people enjoy greater economic opportunities than many other Micronesian peoples. The increasing numbers of Chamorus, especially Chamoru youth, relocating to the U. Mainland, has further complicated both definition and preservation of Chamoru identity.

On Guam a Chamoru rights movement has developed since the United States gained control of the island. Leaders of the movement seek to return ancestral lands to the Chamoru people, and attain self-determination. Pre-colonial society in the Marianas was based on a caste system, "Chamori" being the name of the ruling, highest caste. After Spain annexed and conquered the Marianas, the caste system eventually became extinct under Spanish rule, and all of the indigenous residents of the archipelago eventually came to be referred to by the Spanish exonym "Chamorro".

The name "Chamoru" is an endonym derived from the indigenous pronunciation of the Spanish exonym. Some people theorize that Spanish definitions of the word "Chamorro" played a role in its being used to refer to the island's indigenous inhabitants. This hairstyle has often been portrayed in modern-day depictions of early Chamorros. However, the first European descriptions of the physical appearance of the Chamoru people in the s and 30s report that both sexes had long black hair which they wore down to their waists or even further.

Another description, given about 50 years later, reported that the natives at that time were tying up their hair into one or two topknots. Chamorro culture has over the years acquired noticeable influences from Spanish, Mexican, American, Japanese and Filipino cultures, as well as the presence of fellow Oceanic mostly Micronesian groups. Influence from the German era in the Northern Marianas is most visible in the form of certain given names and family surnames.

The prehistoric concept of inafa'maolek "doing good for each other", often translated as interdependence is a core value of traditional Chamoru culture.

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The culture is now strongly influenced by American customs and values, largely because the Marianas archipelago partitioned into Guam and the CNMI is currently possessed by the United States of America, as organized but unincorporated territories; in addition, most people of Chamoru descent now live outside of the Marianas in the United States. The American military has a major cultural influence among the Chamoru; enlistment rates are higher in the Marianas than in any other place in the USA. On Guam, the enlistment rate is around 14 people per ; [21] by contrast, the US state of Montana , which has the highest per capita enlistment, has a rate almost half that, with approximately eight people per 10, See the Guam page for more details about this topic.

Cockfighting and cockfight-related gambling were introduced by the Spanish and have long been a significant pastime in Chamoru culture, especially among men. It is still popular among the members of older generations and with Filipino immigrants, who raise roosters for cockfighting purposes; however, mixed martial arts fighting competitions have grown in popularity as spectator sports, particularly among the members of more recent generations.

Large-scale events are held throughout the year on Guam and Saipan, which feature local competitors as well as guest participants from abroad. Chamorro life has long centered on one's matriarchal clan. The concept of a "clan" stemming from a common female ancestor is still observed. Large extended families remain central to life in the Marianas. In the years since Americanization, diabetes and heart disease have become increasingly common among the indigenous population as well as among non-indigenous Oceanic people living in the Marianas, particularly the Carolinian Refaluwasch.

Most Chamorros are Roman Catholic [23] and few in the Marianas still maintain some customs and beliefs from the time before the first European conquests; some residents of the Marianas will still ask permission from ancestral spirits before entering parts of jungles. Among the 56 states and territories of the United States, the Mariana Islands have the highest rate of religious self-identification, with a combined percentage of only 1.

Chamorro cuisine is influenced by various cultures. Examples of popular foods of foreign origin include various types of sweet or savory empanada , originally introduced by Spain, and pancit , a noodle dish from the Philippines. Archeological evidence from islands in the Marianas reveals that rice was cultivated there since prehistory.


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It is commonly served for special events, such as parties gupot or "fiestas" , nobenas , and occasions such as a high school or college graduations. Fruits such as lemmai , mangga , niyok , and bilimbines are consumed in various local recipes. Local cookies are known as Guyuria. Fruit bats and local birds have become scarce in modern times primarily due to the World War II-era introduction of the brown tree snake , which decimated the populations of local birds and threatens the fanihi fruit bat population as well; hunting them is now illegal.

Guam has highest per capita consumption of Tabasco sauce in the world, equaling almost two two-ounce bottles per person per year. The Marianas and the Hawaiian islands are the world's foremost consumers, per capita, of Spam , with Guam at the top of the list, and Hawaii second specifics regarding the rest of the Marianas are often absent from statistics.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Chamorro disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Chamorro language.

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US Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 August Retrieved 25 March Madrid, , Ediciones Gondo, www. Retrieved 19 June Ancient Chamorro Society. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bess Press, Inc. Historical Dictionary of Guam and Micronesia. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

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Retrieved May 28, Legends of Guam. Mampolitiku: Politics. Ancient Chamorro Concepts of Beauty. Over the Edge of the World. Plato and M. Cruz, and in by J. Lum and R. Cann, demonstrated that Chamorros are distinctive in relation to neighboring Micronesian populations. The Lum and Cann study reported that more than 85 percent of the Chamorros studied belong to mtDNA haplogroups E1 and E2, which are relatively common in populations from Island Southeast Asia, but rare in other groups of Pacific islands. Most of the remaining Chamorro lineage groups belonged to a unique haplogroup labeled B4a1a1a, which is common in Island Southeast Asia and Melanesia.

They are usually designated by letters of the alphabet and numbers to indicate more specific haplogroups. When an SNP occurs, it becomes a marker that can be passed on from one generation to the next. Humans who descend from the same genetic line will share a common SNP. Haplogroup lineages can then be mapped out like a tree, showing more diversity over time through the various branches that emerge.

The fundamental research question that the Vilar group is trying to answer is whether Chamorros are the direct descendants of a single migration from Island Southeast Asia around 4, years ago, or the descendants of a second wave of migrations from Island Southeast Asia about 1, years ago.

The question arises from an understanding of the two distinct periods of Marianas history—the pre-Latte Era and the Latte Era. The Vilar team is also interested in finding if the Chamorro gene pool shows evidence of gene flow from neighboring islands. Archeological evidence points to settlement of the Marianas as early as 3, years ago, and the appearance of a unique clay pottery style, referred to as Marianas redware. Marianas redware shows similarities with other pottery styles of the same period in Southeast Asia and what is known as the Lapita Cultural Complex. However, both rice cultivation and latte construction do not appear until the Latte Era, beginning about 1, years ago.

Genetic study of modern Chamorros may provide clues to test competing theories as to whether Latte Era people are descendants of earlier pre-Latte people, or are largely descended from a second migration wave, which brought latte technology and rice agriculture to these islands. They also reassessed the samples from neighboring islands collected during the Lum and Cann study, but with additional information.


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The scientists also analyzed the complete mtDNA of 32 individual Chamorros. The individuals tested in the sample population together showed 19 unique haplotypes groups of traits inherited together , while the Chamorros showed 14 haplotypes. The Chamorro group also shared mtDNA mutations characteristic of the E1 and E2 haplogroups, which none of the 17 individuals with Carolinian ancestry showed. About 65 percent of the Chamorro individuals had the E2 haplogroup; the low frequency of variations resembled the pattern seen in a young expanding population.

About 28 percent of the Chamorro lineages belonged to the E1 haplogroup, which also resembled a young expanding population. Analysis of the specific E1 and E2 haplogroups of the Chamorros showed they were not present outside the Mariana Islands. This pattern indicates that a founder effect occurred. A founder effect is when an original founding population arrives, becomes isolated, and over time, results in a new population that has only a small amount of the genetic variation seen in the original population.

In the Marianas, the founding E1 and E2 haplogroup lineages arrived from Island Southeast Asia around 4, years ago and after 3, years in isolation, the two lineages acquired the mutations that gave rise to the unique genetic lineage seen in the Marianas. The scientists also believe the initial arrival of the Marianas population may have occurred even earlier, maybe 5, years ago. The B4 haplogroup was found in only 8 percent of the Chamorro lineages, but percent of the individuals with Carolinian ancestry. Most of the Saipan Carolinians in the sample shared a particular B4a1a1a lineage, but another B4a1a1a lineage with a specific mutation known as CT was revealed only in Chamorros on Guam and Rota.

Analysis of the 32 complete mtDNA samples also pointed out the uniqueness of the lineages found in the Chamorro individuals. Like the E1 and E2 haplogroups, the Chamorro mtDNA of the Marianas is found only in these islands, but shows strong links to Island Southeast Asia that possibly date back 4,, years ago. Perhaps a second migration occurred, bringing knowledge of rice cultivation and latte technology to the islands about 1, years ago. However, the Vilar research team also suggests the possibility that the B4 haplogroup may have arrived from neighboring Micronesian islands sometime in the last 2, years, and the mutation may have been acquired in the Marianas.

The limited genetic diversity is consistent with the depopulation of the Marianas which occurred with the arrival and conquest by the Spanish in the 17th century. The people were placed into districts organized by the Spanish in central and southern Guam. The northern islands remained empty until they were repopulated by Caroline Islanders in the early s; Chamorros finally were allowed to move back several decades later. There is also evidence of gene flow: people from Saipan of Carolinian ancestry today share lineages with other Caroline islanders and not with Guam or Rota or other Chamorros from Saipan.

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This is possibly from the resettlement by Caroline islanders. Vilar is currently conducting research that focuses on Y-Chromosome DNA from male lineages, as well as carrying out a particular type of analysis using DNA inherited from both male and female lines, known as autosomal STR analysis. He expects to measure the magnitude of gene flow from Spanish, Mexican and Filipino populations that settled on Guam during the Spanish administration Vilar expects that his research will provide answers as to when different populations arrived and settled in the Marianas.

The next step will be to compare the Chamorro samples with samples from the Philippines and other Micronesian islands. The Marianas are unique because people migrated to the islands and stayed. But because of the colonial history of the Marianas, he expects to find a wide range of genetic contributions, including Filipino, Mexican, Japanese and American. While eager to work with Chamorros who are interested in their genetic origins and connections, Vilar understands the necessity of being respectful and sensitive to the needs of the community.

As research is not done in a vacuum, researchers should always work under a strict code of ethics that includes treating people who provide samples with respect and dignity. Vilar works only with live individuals and not ancient skeletal remains.