KAMMER BEACH, Tinian—Julian Hofschneider is using his years of experience as a former educator in keeping Chamorro culture alive—albeit with a twist.
Chamorro is the language and culture of the people from the Mariana Islands, the CNMI—Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands—and Guam.
The former principal, with the help of his brother and other relatives, combined his love of promoting the Chamorro language and T-shirt making through Yunga Designs. Yunga, pronounced dzunga, means to draw or sketch.
“Preserving the Chamorro language and culture… a design at a time,” is the slogan that Yunga Designs is promoting.
Hofschneider was among the local businessesmen that had a booth in last weekend’s Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival. He also performed with his band, The Trio, with Nikita Mendiola and Arlan Agadar.
“We began with the Chamorro logic “Taya Guaha” that means no problem. After it came out, people are asking me ‘when are you going to make the next one?’ So it became a series,” said Hofschneider.
He was a former principal at the Tinian Elementary School for seven years before heading Tinian Junior and Senior High School for another three.
“We want to preserve the Chamorro language and culture with humor on the side. We started with a really low profile back then but people loved the designs so we came out with new ones,” added Hofschneider, whose clothing line began in the 2007 San Jose Fiesta.
Their designs feature any of the islands in the Marianas chain, island warriors, Chamorro saying, anything that show the island lifestyle.
“All our shirts represent the Marianas as we also want to help the island artists who are helping us in coming up with new designs. After the Chamorro Logic series, I’m also thinking of creating another series to add diversity,” he said.
“We also have the R.E.D. design or Remember Everyone Deployed, which became popular among those who are in the service or has a relative in the military and the Talayeru for the fishermen.”
Hofschneider said that they could also ship orders and those interested just need to visit their Facebook page, YungaDesigns, and send them a message.
“We’re still setting up our website. But shipping comes with costs. Those who wanted to place orders could deposit their payments to our banks or pay through PayPal,” Hofschneider added.
Hofschneider, after retiring as principal, is now an independent contractor/teacher for the Title I program under the CNMI Public School System for four years now.