The Northern Marianas Humanities Council is inviting the public to a presentation by master carver Mario Reyes Borja that will be held at 6pm on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Visitors Center Theater, American Memorial Park.
In his presentation, titled “Our Sakman Story: A Sentence in History,” Borja will tell the story about the traditional Chamorro sailing canoe or sakman using details recorded by British naval officers on Tinian in 1742.
Chamorros built fine-made outrigger sailing canoes for thousands of years until their demise in the decades following Spanish colonization in the 17th century. These canoes were called “flying proa” by Europeans because of their speed and nimbleness.
Borja, a native son of Saipan, has degrees in aerospace engineering and astrodynamics. He served in the military as a space systems surveillance engineer for more than 20 years and now lives with his wife in San Diego, California.
An active culturalist, Borja recently led the construction of a 47-foot replica of a traditional Chamorro sailing canoe. He has plans of sailing the canoe from California to the Marianas in early 2016.
This event is a part of the Council’s ongoing Community Lecture series that features presentations by local, regional, and international scholars on a variety of humanities topics.
Please contact Council staff at 235-4785 for additional details. (NMI Humanities Council)