northern-mariana-islands

The archaeological site of the House of Taga & the mythology surrounding it. 

[…] Taga’s youngest daughter grieved for her mother and brother. She yearned for the gentle ways of her mother and the sound of her brother’s laughter. One night she could no longer contain the anguish within. With her father’s spear, she ended his life while he was sleeping. Guilt tortured the daughter’s heart. She could not bear the grief and sorrow. Taga’s daughter soon died like her mother, of a broken heart.

As the legend goes, Taga had twelve children, one for each of the latte that supported his house. As Taga’s children died, they became spirits. Each spirit inhabits a latte until it is the time for the spirit to finally leave the world. At the moment its latte falls, the spirit is released.

Today one latte still stands [as pictured]. It is the stone of Taga’s youngest daughter. Her spirit still walks beneath the plumeria trees and coconut palms where their house once stood. She remains unhappy and lonely, imprisoned by her sad and tragic fate. Her soul still suffers because of her murdered dead. Her spirit waits for this last latte to tumble to the ground.

-Section from Marianas Island Legends: Myth and Magic (2011), a book containing legends, folklore, history, and traditions collected from the Chamorro and Carolinian elders and the youth of the Marianas Islands.

The House of Taga is located near San Jose Village, on the island of Tinian, United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The prehistoric latte stones at this site stood 15 feet high, and were quarried south of the site. A latte (as shown in the centre of the photo) is a term used for a pillar with a hemispherical stone capital, which were used as building supports by the ancient Chamorro people -the original structures would have once looked something like this.

Photo courtesy & taken by CT Snow via Wiki Commons.

Pagan, a small island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is home to many threatened and endangered species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. The island has supported the ancestors of Pagan islanders for over 3,000 years, as evidenced by Chamorro stone ruins found skirting her beautiful beaches. 

The U.S. military plans to occupy all of Pagan Island for live-fire training and military exercises, ignoring the indigenous rights of Pagan Islanders, and the devastating environmental impacts that such activity will cause. 

Read more, and sign the petition to save Pagan Island

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Around The World In 80 Days: U.S. Territory, Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan Cave
Photo Credit: (Charlie Jung)
Tropical Island Sunset
Photo Credit: (Rhoel Gerona)
Plumeria In Saipan
Photo Credit: (Leslie Ware)

The photographers deserve credit so DO NOT remove credit information. Thank you.

U.S. Marines try to soothe a crying child by offering a shiny rations tin. Island natives are sheltered with their families in a camp set up for refugees from battle areas by U.S. Marine Civil Affairs authorities during the Battle of Saipan. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. July 1944.  Image taken by U.S. Coast Guardsman Ted Needham. 

A rather….interesting comment from an article posted in 2013 titled Guam: Where America’s day begins with injustice

“It’s amazing how mad you are about things that happened 60-120 years ago. And yeah, it blows that our language and culture was bludgeoned , but the Spanish did it for almost 400 years before the US took over. Are you mad at Spain too?

I’m not surprised that bouncers (21-35 year olds with presumably limited educations) don’t know that Guam is America. I think it’s unreasonable for you to think they would. Most people know nothing of Guam, and these guys are just trying to not lose their jobs.

I take great pride in my being from Guam, and love to educate people about the culture, language, and heritage. When approached with a smile and an open heart, most mainland Americans jump at the chance to learn about our island.

It’s easy to be angry about injustices, and there have been lots against Guamanians, but try not to forget all the good that’s come from being American. Guam couldn’t possibly survive as an independent state. And our people are free to come and go as they please within the freest and richest country in the world.

You’re young. Try to not also be angry. (Nothing says “stop and frisk me” like an ethnically ambiguous 20 something who carries himself with a chip on his shoulder.)”

I’m still trying to process this comment, the article, and how I feel about both. Thought it would be cool to leave this here…

So I’ve never ever ever posted a picture of myself to Tumblr before…but this is the only photo that’s been taken of me since I moved out to the Northern Mariana Islands about a month ago, and I just thought I’d share because this is what my front yard looks like now and despite the loneliness and the isolation that come along with living on a tiny island…I think it’s pretty effing lovely out here.