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Chapter Contents:


The Footprints chapter is for telling stories concerning places and place names. These are the marks left on the landscape not only by those who came before, but in some cases by gods and supernatural beings as they travelled this land.

But because of the relocation of the Chamorro people by the Spanish in the late 1600s, almost all of this place-based storytelling was lost. The Carolinian population, while bringing some stories from their home islands, are too recently settled to have legends that focus on the Northern Mariana islands.

Nonetheless, our guides have emphasized that despite this rupture, Chamorro and Carolinian cultures carry on traditions in other ways, including certain practices and values.

Here we present these value and tradition based "Footprints" of the ancestors that remain imprinted on Tanapag today.



Carolinian medicine was strongly practiced in the Tanapag community, and some members still carry on those traditions. Pes refers to a taboo against eating certain fish by those dealing with such medicine.

Carolinian tradition includes certain rules for behavior that show respect—to other siblings, to the elderly, and to the environment. Our guides tell of these many practices.

Like Guam, CNMI retains the Spanish-Catholic-Chamorro tradition of yearly fiestas in all the villages, honoring their patron saints. Our guides discuss the preparations and activities involved.

Weddings maintain strong Chamorro traditions. Estella uses her own wedding to explain many of these practices.

As with weddings, funerals demonstrate a mix of cultural influences, and play an important role in the village community.


Terms relating to stories and storytelling, morality, supernatural beings, and aspects of culture.


Sources & Links
Links to related web sites
Bibliography and Sources


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