It is mind boggling to think how these ancient megaliths were excavated and transported to this latte site. When in the presence of such remarkable accomplishments of the ancient chamorro culture, I always ponder what the ancient chamorro society was like. Would I fit in? Where would my role be in regards to being a hunter, a gatherer, a craftsmen, a farmer, etc? As time continues to tick, there will always be a sense of curiosity and amazement when it comes to our ancient Chamorro roots.
Only one latte stone sits erected since the time of the ancient Chamorros who occupied the Mariana Islands. Prior to the war ( WWII), there were several sets of latte sites that could be found on this part of the island of Tinian. Either during or after the war, the other tasa and haligi that surrounded this particular site were removed. In my opinion, I think it was to reconstruct the area to be commercial friendly in regards to infrastructure of the island. Once the United States of America established control over the Northern Mariana Islands, they quickly utilized the islands to become one of the most significant air bases during the war.
I recently made a trip to the island of Tinian for the annual Pika Festival. This festival showcases the notorious donne’, or hot pepper, that is known for its intense spicy flavor. You can find Tinian Hot Pepper in stores. However, the best Tinian Donne’ you can find are from the local families who make the concoction by hand. I managed to take a stroll to the House of Taga. It is always a great feeling to be surrounded by megaliths made by Ancient Chamorros. Not only will you be in awe, you will appreciate the strength of the culture by creating your own hypothesis on how these megaliths were excavated and constructed. If your ever on the island of Tinian, be sure to take a few minutes and appreciate this Chamorro Heritage site.
A view of Hotel Street, Garapan, Saipan. What helped me identify areas much easier were landmarks. In this picture, various landmarks can be seen; Hyatt, Fiesta, American Memorial Park, Smiling Cove Marina, Hotel Street, etc. This picture was actually one of several pictures I took continuously. The panoramic stitch didnt come out as I wanted. As a result, I ended up with this beautiful picture.
This shot is very surreal because you never would imagine how things would look from an aerial standpoint until you finally see it. While I was in the air, I felt like a kid in a candy store beautiful the island looked so unique and beautiful.
I’ve always tried to take this shot on an airplane. Yet it was always so difficult due to the angle of the plane plus the wing always being in the way. Thank goodness for a helicopter! Stay tuned for more stunning shots of the island of Saipan.
One of the indigenous creatures of the Northern Mariana Islands is the Coconut Crab (Birgus latro), known in the Chamorro language as the Ayuyu. These creatures reach up to 9 lbs and can literally husk a coconut with their massive claws.
A view of the Northern part of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. I made the attempt to photograph the moon setting into the West. The photographs didn’t turn out very well due to clouds in the distance. As I packing up my gear, I noticed that the Sun was making its ascent. This picture was my favorite because of the colors. You have the silhouette of Saipan contrasting with the orange, red, and yellow hues.
Matson Mana, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. This ship was recently chartered to transport Matson containers via Guam to Saipan. These man-made structures are amazing to gaze upon due to their size. I question my ability to embark on a long distanced voyage in such a vessel and what situations a crew member would experience (normal and rare occurrences). I imagine being on board while trying to rough out huge swells and how that experience would feel. 20-30 ft waves would make this boat look small out on the open ocean. In the end, Mother Nature always seems to get the best out of us.
Picture yourself on Guam, cruising North-bound on Tumon Rd. heading towards Gun Beach. You pass the gate and find yourself looking at an enormous “shack” nested into a few coconut trees with a perfect view of the sunset. Looking in-land, you’ll find a hidden path that will take you to a traditional attraction called Gokna. In this traditionally inspired village, you can take a step back in time and witness how “life” was interpreted during the Ancient Chamorro times. You can see the coconut leaf thatched hutts, concrete latte stones, a fire pit, and a Taro patch. These were all essential items to have in a village to survive. The latte stones served as the foundation of the chamorro house, providing them shelter. The taro patch was a very important source of food because it served as their “carbohydrate” to perform daily functions through out the day. Typically, an Ancient Chamorro could be a hunter, a fisherman, a farmer, a craftsmen, and other occupations. An ancient chamorro’s diet consisted of fish, taro, lemai, and other ingredients from the Earth.