Festivities kick off yesterday, Oct. 2, for a week in honor of one of the Marianas’ most legendary indigenous historic figures, Chamorro Chief Taga.
“Gineptin Ha’anen Taga” (Chief Taga Festival) will be held on the island of Tinian, where arriving VIPs will be greeted at the airport with fresh leis and singing schoolchildren.
Over the next several days, Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua of the University of Guam and Malia Ramirez of Guam Historic Preservation will share the story of Taga and Chamorro history with students at Tinian Elementary School, Tinian Jr./Sr. High School, and Grace Christian Academy.
A public presentation will also be made on Friday, Oct. 5, from 5pm to 6:30pm at the Tinian Public Library.
Festival grounds will open at 8am today, Oct. 4, with food and other vendor sales throughout the day and music and live entertainment from 6pm to 10pm. Festivities will continue Friday with additional performances by students from Tinian and Guam from 6pm to 10pm.
Saturday, Oct. 6, will include all-day performances and food sales beginning at 8am, as well as a display of historical artifacts from the CNMI Historic Preservation Office. Chamorro cultural demonstrations will be held throughout the day, including acho’ atupat (slingshot) throwing (10am to 4pm), talaya (cast net) throwing (11:30am to 5pm), coconut frond weaving (10am to 4pm), and swimming (4pm). A facial reconstruction from an ancient Chamorro skull will be displayed at the Tinian Public Library from 8am to 6:30pm.
The Top 3 public participants of others demonstrations will be selected to compete in contests on Sunday, Oct. 7: the chacha contest (6pm), children’s umang (hermit crab) race (3pm), kacha/kamchu (coconut husking/grinding) relay (12pm), fuetsan Taga (Taga strength) contest, (11am), government department tug-of-war (2pm), and jewelry making (10am to 4pm).
Festivities will culminate on Sunday with the championship competitions, demonstrations and contests from 10am to 6:30pm
The Chief Taga Festival is spearheaded by the Tinian Mayor’s Office and co-organized by the 16th Tinian Municipal Council, and the Marianas Visitors Authority.
Tinian is 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.
For more information, contact Joseph San Nicolas of the Tinian Mayor’s Office at 1 (670) 433-1802 or email@example.com, the 16th Municipal Council at 1 (670) 433-3470, or MVA field office supervisor Vida Borja at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 (670) 433-9365. (MVA)