Assume about Easter Island and it is a good bet that its legendary stone monoliths occur to intellect 1st. But they aren’t the only massive stone carvings on remote Pacific islands that have fascinated and puzzled archeologists, anthropologists, explorers and tourists for centuries.
Just about 7,600 miles farther west on the northern side of the equator lie the Northern Mariana Islands where by latte stone pillars dot the landscape. Although one of a kind prehistoric monuments are discovered during Oceania, stone lattes are uncovered nowhere else.
The U.S territory of Guam is the centerpiece of this group of ancient volcanic islands where by latte stones have develop into the modern day image of the indigenous Chamorro society representing energy and identity.
Latte have two stable pieces: a pillar (“haligi” in Chamorro) and a cup-shaped capstone with a flat top rated (“tåsa” most probable from the Spanish taza for cup or bowl.) Ranging in top from 2 to 10 feet, the tallest a single however standing is on the neighboring island of Tinian and is 15.7 feet high.
The pillars and capstones frequently vary in condition, substance and measurement. Some are produced from quarried limestone, volcanic rock or conglomerates when other individuals are made from tough slabs, coral or boulders rounded by drinking water.
LATTES Were Utilized BY THE CHAMORRO Men and women
Initially applied by the indigenous Chamorro people today as housing supports, the structures are typically referred to as “casas de los antiguos” (residences of the ancients) in some reference performs.
The pillars were being usually established in two parallel rows all over a rectangular room in pairs of six, 8, 10, twelve or fourteen pillars.
The new book “Latte in the Marianas: By the Neighborhood, and For the Community” by Dr. Kelly Marsh and Jolie Liston notes that the ancestors of the Chamorro people today arrived in the Mariana Islands about 4,000 decades back.
But it was yet another 2,700 to 3,100 decades in advance of latte to start with appeared. They have been in use for somewhere around 700 a long time.
Writings from the 1500s and 1600s described that properties were generally established atop the pillars and the place under was where by common canoes identified as “proa” were being produced and saved, or where by community gatherings took location.
Other structures for cooking, sleeping and other jobs ended up designed of wooden with palm-frond thatch or grass roofs and established on the ground.
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the very first European to get there in Guam on March 6, 1521 on behalf of Spain. Forty-four several years later on, Guam was declared by Spain, changing the Chamorro society eternally.
According to archeological analysis, the use of latte ceased all-around the time of Spanish colonization. Authors Kelly and Liston be aware:
“Latte survived some of the most traumatic parts of our background, such as the arrival of the Spanish on our shores to change what they felt were the missing souls of indigenous peoples living a pagan lifestyle. This missionization forbade a great lots of of our cultural techniques and procedures.”
Like numerous of the megaliths in the Pacific islands, the importance of the latte has been missing to time and their sacredness remains speculative.
Nonetheless, it is thought by some researchers that they may well have been related with ancestor worship considering that the Chamorro buried their lifeless concerning the stones and on each facet of the residence, as a result making a sacred place.
LATTES HAVE DEEP CULTURAL Significance
Guests to the Marianas today are requested not to touch the several remaining stones and to regard them for their historic and cultural importance.
“The existence of the ancestors is evident in the stones on their own, and these sacred spaces are vital to our ongoing existence and prosperity as indigenous people,” Kelly and Liston note.
Latte stones and their symbolism are made use of in a huge variety of strategies from concrete reproductions that can be observed incorporated into authorities structures, supporting indicators and bus shelters, stamped on paperwork, outlined on freeway markers, honored on postage stamps, and even on the 2009 US quarters for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Eight of these ancient megaliths can be observed by site visitors to Guam at Latte Stone Park in Hagåtña, the money village of the island.
The stones were moved to the park in the 1950s and today they are one of seventeen web pages together the two-mile “Hagåtña Heritage Going for walks Trail” that commences at Fort Santa Agueda, the only remaining fort of the Spanish Period in Hagåtña that dates to 1803.
Even though Guam continues to be the centre of the historic Chamorro lifestyle and has two American armed service bases, it’s also house to a substantial Filipino local community.
Toss in Micronesian, Korean, Japanese, and Thai, incorporate a sprint of Mexican and two handfuls of Spanish, stir well and which is the cultural stewpot that would make up Guam.
Great diving on the encompassing reef, uncrowded beach locations, drinking water sports, climbing trails for all amounts and ages, historic web sites including the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and the Spanish Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (c.1810), the Guam Museum that’s crammed with academic displays of the island’s historical past and tradition, and considerably extra await website visitors to this Pacific paradise.
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For additional information and facts about visiting Guam, go to www.visitguam.com.
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