NMI officials to welcome arrival of Chamorro canoe

THE last time a traditional Chamorro canoe sailed to Saipan was 200 years ago and that’s why Indigenous Affairs Resident Director Roman Tudela Jr. and program manager Cris Ogo are excited about welcoming the arrival of the sakman at 5 p.m. today, Thursday.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Tudela and Ogo said Gov. Ralph Torres will be joining them in welcoming the navigators from Guam who will be here for two weeks to educate the local youth about traditional navigation.

Tudela said a welcoming ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Thursday, at the Garapan Fishing Base where the sakman will be docked.

There are six crewmembers on board the canoe headed by master navigator Tony Pialug.

The sakman is also known as the flying proa because of its speed, Ogo said, adding that they will schedule an open house for the general public so everyone can have the opportunity to see the canoe.

He said nine breadfruit trees were cut down and carved in building the canoe two years ago.

The canoe was built by TASA, a non-profit group headed by Fermina Atalig Sablan, Ogo added.

Tudela said Governor Torres is considering the creation of a traditional navigation school so that the younger generation can learn about and appreciate their ancestors’ navigational skills.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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