19 Oct 2017
- From: RUDY M. SABLAN
WELL, I’ll call it a mini-webinar, or a micro-mini-webinar, the discussion on a Mr. Aghurubw and his political status in the Chuukese planet.
Recently, this newspaper reported that a Mr. Aghurubw was honored at Managaha Islet by a group of Chamorros and Carolinian. The Carolinian celebrants, I would assume, were descendants or supporters of the Satawal wayfarers.
I never heard of this person, Aghurubw, until someone at the Manamko’ Center mentioned that there was a statue representation of a Chief Aghurubw of Satawal.
I did see the statue, later, while on a picnic to Managaha. The Chuukese at the center were saying that he was supposed to be one of the persons who brought over people of Satawal to Guam and Saipan on an ocean-going canoe.
The migrants, I understand, got off at Puntan Muchot (from south Garapan north to Micro Beach now). I also understand from Carolinians verbal passdowns that the original name of the place was Arabwal, Halaihai, after the vine on the beach.
How the transliteration came about from Arabwal to Garapan, is beyond me. But I’ve heard from some Carolinians who are not of Satawal descent that Aghurubw wasn’t a chief, but only an ocean navigator.
Do all the Satawalese of antiquity (especially the 1800s timeframe) considered Aghurubw a chief? I doubt there was or is a document depicting that period on Aghurubw. I figure “illiteracy,” and only verbal passdowns or chants. Maybe later as a result of conversations, Aghurubw was bestowed the title as “Samol.”
One of those who disagreed that Aghurubw was a chief, commented in this newspaper that Aghurubw wasn’t a chief but a navigator only.
There was, also, a statement in this newspaper that Aghurubw was not Chuukese. What? Right? Wrong? Or mislocated? Wait a minute. Wasn’t he from Satawal?
Satawal is made a part of the “out-islands Chuuk” lumped together by the U.S. government for administrative convenience, and thus, are called “Out-island Chuuk,” as compared to the main Chuukese island group called “Lagoon Chuuk” or “Feichuuk.”
Are the Satawalese saying that they are not Chuukese? Or only Aghurubw?
And I find that to be somewhat funny. Because my dad said that at one time, the Elato atoll considered itself part of Yap, Ulithi, and Sonsorol.
Like Castilian Spain, the Basques, and Catalonia. They want political severalty. And I’m confused. Time has erased memories except for the passdowns and chants.
But historian Don Farrell wrote in his History of the Northern Marianas, 1st ed., that Aghurubw of Satawal, and Nguschul of Elato, were chiefs. Now, where did Farrell get his information, “Archive?” Spanish missionaries’ writings? But then, the period of the Satawal migration was in the 1800s. Aghurubw then had to be a contemporary of Chief Petrus Mailo’s father.
What about Petrus? I know him first-hand, Congress of Micronesia sessions, and the Chuuk session change of venue.
Also, all the Marianas teachers and students who graduated from PITTS, PICS, nursing training, communication training, insular constabulary training, etc. all done in Chuuk proper, in the 1950s-1960s all knew about Petrus Mailo, and TTC.
To me, Aghurubw is a “new kid in town.” But, all in all, if the Satawalese say that Aghurubw was a chief of sort, or not Chuukese, then best it be left alone, and that point taken with a grain of salt. Good education on Carolinian culture and clan system. I say, for me who carries a Chuukese blood, the mist in the crystal ball is clearing.
RUDY M. SABLAN
Source: Google News : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/letters-to-the-editor/99404-aghurubw-not-chuukese