NMHC awards grant to create animation of Chamorro oral stories

Posted on Aug 05 2021


Sample images from Jack Doyle’s animation concept. (NMHC)

The Northern Marianas Humanities Council announced yesterday Jack Doyle’s upcoming Community Grant Project called “Legends of Rota,” an animated representation of stories told by Chamorro elders in the Chamorro language.

Doyle, as project director, will be interviewing Rota elders for oral stories and working with Indigenous Affairs Office program manager Crispin Ogo to translate and record the story narrations in Chamorro. The final product will feature Ogo’s narration and accompanying animations created by Doyle.

“While furthering my own knowledge, this project will share Chamorro culture and language in a digital format that is accessible for those who want to learn,” said Doyle. “My goal is to create animations that can teach Chamorro culture and language to children in an interesting way, and to make these animations available online for use by teachers and the Humanities Council.”

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada has expressed support for this project. “I believe that this grant would result in an invaluable resource for the [Chamorro and Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies] teachers and students as well as the CNMI community and diaspora as a whole,” Ada said. “It is paramount that we as a community do everything in our power to promote and perpetuate local culture, and using unique, creative, and entertaining tools like animation to attract attention and inspire interest among our youth could be a major step forward.”

Jonas Barcinas, the CCLHS program director, has expressed enthusiasm for this project, saying, “I believe that this project will open doors to connect our youths to their history in the preservation and perpetuation of their language and cultural heritage.”

The oral stories will be told by Matias Taisacan, Richard Manglonia, Thomas Mendiola, Sixto Taimano, and Ogo (in addition to his role as translator and narrator).

This project is made possible in part by funding from the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The council supports high quality public humanities programming for the people of the Marianas in accordance with the Council’s Gi Hiyong i Mamati—Mwirilóól Woosch Strategic Master Plan. (PR)

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