On Oct. 2-7, 2018, the Marianas will host its first festival in honor of one of its most legendary historic figures, Chamorro chief Taga, to be called “Gineptin Ha ‘anen Taga’” or Chief Taga Festival. The festival will be held on Tinian, recorded as the place where Taga last lived and was buried.
Tinian is also home to the House of Taga, a landmark on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the site of the largest standing limestone latte stones in the Marianas, which served as support pillars for ancient Chamorro structures.
“We invite all our Marianas residents to the beautiful island of Tinian to celebrate Taga Day 2018. This event is unique opportunity to showcase Tinian’s culture and our historical figure of Chief Taga to the Marianas and the world,” said Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas. “I look forward to everyone’s participation. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Marianas Visitors Authority for their sponsorship and to all those involved in coordinating this event, especially Mr. Joseph San Nicolas, my special assistant of indigenous affairs.”
The event is jointly organized by the Tinian Mayor’s Office, the 16th Tinian Municipal Council, and the Marianas Visitors Authority.
“Chief Taga is one of the most recognizable figures in Marianas history and mythology,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “In Spanish written records, Taga was recorded as aiding in shipwrecked sailors off the reef near Tinian in the 1600s. In our mythology, Taga was born on Rota to Tinian and was known to possess superhuman strength, uprooting a coconut tree as a young child to catch a coconut crab and leaping from Rota to Tinian. We are excited to partner with the Tinian Mayor’s Office and Tinian Municipal Council to bring this story to life for visitors and residents.”
Activities for the week kick off on Oct. 2 with a festival logo competition for students in the Marianas. On Oct. 3-5, a panel of scholars will make school presentations at Tinian Elementary School, Tinian Jr./Sr. High School, and Grace Christian Academy Tinian.
On Oct. 6, the festival will welcome all on- and off-island VIPs and special guests. On Oct. 7, an official opening ceremony will be held at the Tinian festival grounds in San Jose village. The day’s activities will include preparation and sale of Chamorro ethnic food, a sling stone throwing demonstration, demonstrations on the various applications of the coconut tree, jewelry making from natural products, and more.
For more information, contact San Nicolas of the Tinian Mayor’s Office at 1 (670) 433-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org, the 16th Municipal Council at 1 (670) 433-3470, or MVA Field Office supervisor Vida Borja at email@example.com or 1 (670) 433-9365. (MVA)