WHO COUNTS AS BEING CHAMORRO?

Written by Richard W. Fee
March, 29, 2015

On St. Patrick's Day, every one is Irish. And while 4.5 million Irish
emigrated to American between 1820-1930, most intermarried with others
from different countries and cultures to the point that it is difficult
for any of today's 320 million American to call themselves pure Irish,
except once a year when they are looking for an excuse to enjoy
excessive amounts of adult beverages.

This
is Mes Chamorro, when we celebrate all things Chamorro. With the
Chamorro diaspora and yes, thinning of the genetic pool due to poor
Spanish health care, you begin to wonder who really is Chamorro. In
Robert F. Rogers' book, "Destiny's Landfall," he cited reports that
there were only two pureblood Chamorros left in the early 1800s, and I
think they were both men.
Chamorros intermarried with Spanish,
Filipinos, Mexicans, other Micronesians and assorted Caucasians to the
point that, well, who can call themselves Chamorro anymore? Is there
some clear definition?

When
the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789, a slave was considered
three-fifths of a person. No matter who they married, they were always
considered African-American. Under segregation laws, as long as you had
one great-grandparent who was black, you were black. Many
African-American leaders use the one drop of blood rule, which means you
can identify yourself as African-American with a very distant relative.

"Blood
quantum" is important today, especially if you have to prove you have
enough Native American blood to be part-owner of a casino. Getting the
right percent is critical to owning land in the Northern Marianas

In
a recent Sunday PDN, Bernard Punzalan estimated that there are about
229,795 Chamorros around the world (2010 Census). Only 30 percent
(69,098) live on Guam while 64 percent (147,798) live on the mainland,
mostly in California. Only about 6 percent (12,902) live in the CNMI.
Punzalan postulated that there would be a lot more if the second, third
and fourth generations would research their histories.

Are
any of these people really Chamorros? What percentage of Chamorro blood
does it take to qualify? Do you have to be 10 percent? 30 percent? 5
percent? Or just one drop Chamorro?

The Organic Act addressed this issue 65 years ago with a blanket
waiver for those born in Guam before 1949. They were residents and U.S.
citizens, but can they claim enough blood line to be Chamorro? We know
that "Chamorro" mothers often register their kids in school listing
Chamorro as their race, but by the time they reach their teenage years,
many self-identify as Filipino because, well, their fathers and many
friends are Filipino.

The TLC cable
channel broadcasts a popular program, "Who Do You Think You Are?," in
which Ancestry.com experts examine the genealogies and conduct DNA tests
of famous people. We now have incredible online historical records and
genetic tests to show our origins.

Punzalan
moderates the excellent Chamorro Roots website, where he collects local
families' histories. The three other major sources for Chamorro records
(vital statistics, land, Spanish records, etc.) are the Micronesian
Area Research Center at the University of Guam, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints, with the world's largest collection of
genealogical records (Family Search online and Family History Center
office in the Barrigada church) and Ancestry.com. That website charges a
monthly fee, but you can access it along with five or six other paid
sites for free at the LDS Family History Center.

All of these groups are collecting and sharing Chamorros records. You don't have to guess.

But
you can only go back so far in the records. Science can now help.
Ancestry.com offers a $99 DNA test. Send in a sample and they will tell
you exactly where you came from. They will connect you with other
families who have submitted DNA tests and family trees.

Personally,
I have no dog in this race as I am a blindingly white person. My
Ancestry.com DNA report shows I am 23 percent Irish, 54 percent British,
10 percent Eastern European, 4 percent Spanish, 3 percent
Italian/Greek, 2 percent Scandinavian, 2 percent Western European
(German blood) and less than 1 percent other.

As
more people share DNA tests, I am sure it will get it down to the
specific village level. I am covered for St. Patrick's Day, and during
Mes Chamorro, I will accept that "other" means I am 1 percent Chamorro.

So here is a great way to start a family discussion, or a bar fight -- how Chamorro are you? Happy Mes Chamorro!
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Comments

  • edited October 2015
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  • Dude there is no pure Chuukese or Yapese or Chommorro or Hawaiians. People emigrated thru lands and theh mixed with those whom they came in contact with. There is no pure race in this planet. Every body is mixed one way or the other. The Samoans have a saying,, it goes no matter if you are 1/4 Samoan you still Samoan. Hahaha. Chuuk itself its a product of 3 people, Pohnpei,Kosrae and intermixed with Yapese who later came and introduced the Sawie system on Chuuk.

    A.nother thing don't start things you can't finish.
  • By the way my thick heades friend. Yapese and Chammoro and Palauans chiefly systems along with their cultures are more akin to indonesian then thosein the central carolines.
  • edited October 2015
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  • Kersamin said: "There were only two pure Oceania race altogether. Polynesia (Taranga) and Micronesia (Irapanga) one Unit whom are known as the Immigrants from the East (The heaven landing people). Melanesia (LengiShol) the land of the black."

    There is or was no pure race in Oceania or in this earth. You really are thick headed. Migration from the Asian steppes brought people together and intermixed with one another.Tranga or Iranpanga ain't even Micronesian words to being with those sound Maori. Stop taking others story and claim it has Chuukese.
  • Kersamin said: "The border between these two purely Oceania groups. You will find intermixed on islands known who share linguist and cultural similarity of both groups."

    Wrong again thick head! Both the roots of the Micronesians and Polynesians are in Melenesia. How can both be pure when both are a product of Melenesians? Ha!
  • Anunaki, please stay with KERASMIN.
  • As for the Yapese-Palauns&Chammorros chiefly systems being akin to indonesia well I've seen papers on the comparisons of these to the one in Indonesia and they have the same similarities. Another thing is the languages of Yap-Palau&Guam are all similar to Indonesians and not related to the Chuukese Continuum. Try as ou might Kersamin you so called chuukese continuum was just recently brought to Saipan in 1815! Ha! Kersamin the Chuukese chiefly system is the weakest form of the Carolinian system. It was never in bar with those of its neighbors in Pohnpei or Kosrae.
  • thats like saying 3 people ate grapes so they must be siblings.
  • Linguistics wise yapese-Palauan&Chamorros are from the same branch, Whereas Chuukese-Pohnpeian&Kosrae are from another branch.
  • edited October 2015
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  • Said thre man who speak the make up information. Science and historically recognized sources in Polynesia,Melenesia and Micronesia are all in synch with one another even linguistically too. Different sources and history of the 3 Nesians VS Kersamin and kers you are out weighed. Facts are also against you. Ponape means sacred alter not north like your silliness says. The 2 Kataus represent compass references with the Carolinians. Ratak and Ralik represent East and West with the Marshallese. The Yapese well they have the stars Timur and Limahnmahn to tell them that. The only people who have been sighted in The Vicinity of Hawaii in the 1700s and 1800s are Yapese from Main island, Wolaens and The Marshalls. As for kosrae language look no further to the almost extinction of kosraens because of western disease. Kiribatti speaks two dialect the upper islands speak the Marshallese version while the lower islands speak the Polynesians version. Nauru is a intermix of two society Micronesians and Polynesians just like the one in Kapingamaranki. Is hard for you to except that because in acknowledging that you will also acknowledge the lies you've been spewing in Here. I pity you.
  • Aunanki, since language is the issue. i found a link here, i didnt read the whole thing, only partial.
    https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/21163/Graham_1977.pdf?sequence=1

    what i saw was an oservation from a western point of view, is that marianas language and phillipines is more similar than the surrounding regions languages. But each places from palau to the FSM and marianas has their own cultures and beiefs of how they came about. None believed they migrated from a known place, ask any  survivng elder esp of WW2 era of any modern micronesian region state and they assumingly in my opinion will say a legend of how they came their people were created. Each state, has a legend. These language linguist research/theories is based on research by westerners as seen, ll the authors or most is college and university professors. I would love to hear one from micro survivng elders who have written a report, i would trust such a report. I guess we FSM Cofa, were our own, along the line we got a little painted by small paints which we have little known source. As all the research have no solid proof or evdence just westerners guesses
  • edited October 2015
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  • there was something called metawal fur or something est like a trading route spanning alot of islands it was long time ago maybe during the spainiard times. The japanese times, other cultural practices were halted and slowly fading away. Also, did the execution of intermarriage, if one looks more western caucasian, the japanese would execute them. Alot of genocide took place, and some things are left untouched or undocumented. There is room for mystery, things that the invasion during WW2 made to fade and forgotten i assume. And maybe history to be rewritten and/or tampered with i guess. Also i would like to add, is the migration of a few in all the places in the micronesian region, whaling ship were said to bring in people foreign and its not popular to say but it brought out natives as well. People who were adventurous looking for life in the unknown board whaling ships, some canoes and sail away. Not all of this adventurers are documented and tracked down. People know a little here, little there by word of mouth, passing down stories from long ago. A serious research, interview and documentary will bring these to light, it has alot of areas to be covered. This is a broad and vast topic.
  • 3 Paragraphs and still made no sense. Funny how the Chamorro language is listed as different then the ones spoken in the central carolines(Chuul-Pohnpei+Kosrae). Geographically The Marianas-Palau are physically closer do indonesia, culturally too they are closer to the indonesians. Kersamin have you seen the MAPS or GLOBE? You will notice how the Central carolines are just smack tap above Melanesia. Ignore it all you want but THE COLD HARD FACTS over rule you.
  • edited October 2015
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  • Very funny indeed !! Ahahaha
  • Kersamin are you stupid or just plain Chuukese? Funny how the Philipinos are considered Malaysians. Now tell me Malaysians is sprouting from Chuukese. You stupid "F"!. Chuukese Continuum is the youngest branch of the Marshallese Language. In FACT Kosraens-Mokillese-Binglepese-Ponepean&Chuukese are Branches of the Marshallese language. While Yapese-Beluans&Chamorros are From another Branch. You know what's branch is right?
  • Look into the language you fool. Marshallese is the root language of you guys from Chuuk-Pohnpei&KOSRAE&mokill-Binglep. why? Its easiy to adapt to Marshallese then its to the latters. Here is the tricky part Marshallese can pronounce FSMs language easily while FSMs is harder to rapid speak like them.
  • By the way Carolinian is a western word you "f". Chuukese lingo have a vowel and its "R". RRRRRRRRRRRR that's how you guys speak. like a lawn mower. Rrrrerreeeeererr! While Yapese-Beleuans&Chamorro is "L".
  • wakakaka @ chuukese speak RRRRRR like loan mower.
  • and you love one of them chuukese, right Anunkai? does she RRRRRRRRR you all the time?
  • Within the house i build its English, outside the house its Rrrrrrrs.
  • edited October 2015
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  • Kosrae and pohnpei were not maritime sailors they were land luvers. Chuukese lingo along with its people are a mixture of 3 groups, that ponpean-Kosraen and a springling of Yapese. Your own chuukese stories confirm that so your authentic lingo is a myth.lol
  • edited October 2015
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  • My son you are more a novice then you let on. you just contradict your self yet again.The western Micronesians like Yap-Palau&Guam are older then the Central Carolinians(Chuuk-Ponpe&Kosrae). Chuuk itself was settled 700-800 years ago. Yap by itself was settled 2000 years before Chuuk. Look at the chiefly systems and you will see the Chuukese systems was de Centralized. Which means it was consolidating or digging in. Yape figures are found in the legends of Chuukese-Ponpean&Kosrsens. You chuukese acknowledge their overlordship by the sawei system of tribute. The mountaineers were land luvers, that's they inhabited one islands like Kosrae or Pohnpei or inhabited one Single lagoon. The two most maritime sailors are Yapese and the Marshallese. Both of which have influences in the Central Carolines and controll more islands and even controll parts of land in the central carolines.
  • edited October 2015
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  • No onesaid the Marianas are sitting on the Asian continent but you son. Its a fact that the Marianas along with Yap&Palau were inhabited before chuuk or Ponpe&Kosrae by 2000 years before the central carolines. The more land a people controll tells their prowess of being sailors. Yap influences extend from its proper to the lagoon of chuuk and Kosrae. The Chuukese control 200 islands and a single lagoon. The Marshalls over a thousand islands and a dozen lagoons and have influences in central carolines.
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