A replica of the House of Taga?

Posted on Jun 30 2021


The House of Taga on Tinian. Today, only one of the 12 15-foot-tall latte stone pillars still stands. (JOSHUA SANTOS)

TINIAN—An idea is being floated around to create a replica of what the House of Taga might have looked like as it stood hundreds of years ago, to be erected near the House of Taga site itself. The replica would serve as a reception area for tourists and would be flanked by artwork depicting different aspects of life of ancient Chamorros.

At least that’s the imagination of Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan, who says that project would be so massive that he predicts it will go past his time as mayor.

With $200,000 grant recently given to the Municipality of Tinian and Aguiguan by the CNMI Office of Grants Management, Aldan hopes that that money would be used to begin beautifying Tinian’s current and future tourist attractions, beginning with improvements to the House of Taga.

In an interview with Aldan last Saturday, he said, “What I wanted to do for House of Taga is to bat out for a project that is a major undertaking. It could cost in the millions of dollars, but slowly [the $200,000] could be used to start the design concept of what we want to do. …It will probably not [be completed] within my administration,” said Aldan.

Aldan envisions a project that would include actual digging up of limestone—the same material that the latte stones that stand at House of Taga are made of— culminating into a House of Taga replica.

“[The art] would showcase how we made our spears, how we made farming gear…how we made our food, our medicine. Other artwork would show how we lived in these huts,” said Aldan.

Aldan said that he wants Tinian to be at the forefront of efforts like these, as it is Tinian that has the largest standing latte stone pillars in the CNMI. Additionally, Aldan wants a project of this nature and scope to begin before leadership on Saipan, Rota, and even Guam catch on to his ideas. “It’s got to be here. It has to start from here because this is where the biggest standing latte stones are,” said Aldan.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.

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