The government-owned canoe house is scheduled to be blessed today.
According to Department of Cultural and Community Affairs project coordinator for the Seafaring Traditions Program John Castro, the canoe house in Susupe is done being built and will be blessed today at 10am, followed by lunch at noon.
“The canoe house revives our legacy, our culture, and our traditions; it commemorates how we started,” Castro told Saipan Tribune. “…[The CNMI] started here when [our ancestors] came here through canoe. [The canoe house]…signifies the continuation of this fading tradition.”
The canoe house would act as the storage area for traditionally crafted Chamorro canoes, called sakman. Castro noted that the canoe house should not be confused with the Guma Sakman, which is owed by a non-profit private entity.
Castro noted that the sakmans being constructed under the seafaring program is all traditional—every part of the boat would be made from resources obtained on the island, mirroring the ancient ways of sakman-making.
“We try to be as close as possible to the traditional ways of making sakman, by technique and engineering, but of course with the tools of today,” Castro told Saipan Tribune.