Guam Chamorro Sailing Canoes
Many thousands of years ago, people set out from China and Taiwan to sail eastward into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. These were the ancestors to the modern day Pacific Islanders and they adapted rapidly to their new found environment. Living in isolated groups of islands, they evolved separate and unique forms of cultures. After the colonisation of the Pacific by Europeans, much of this culture was lost and now, many Pacific Islanders are seeking to rediscover and preserve parts of their lost history. In Guam they are in this process and Master Navigators are helping to bring back the canoes to sail the waters around Guam and Micronesia.
In Guam their mission is to revive traditional seafaring navigation, canoe building and the sailing of these craft. They are learning traditional navigation, sailing skills, canoe building. They owe their existence to the Master Navigators that have retained the ancient knowledge and they are learning their skills from the surviving navigators. The present polynesian navigators learned their skills from their fathers and grand-fathers when they were children. It is important that these Polynesian groups involve the local people to learn the navigating and canoe building skills and then they will go out and teach others.
The groups in Guam are trying to revive the Chamorro seafaring culture and want to keep their craft traditional. They have built their canoes in the traditional way and they want them to stay that way. But they are not opposed to using modern materials such as fiber-glass if they run out of wood. Some of the members do traditional fishing methods and they make lures and fish hooks. They go out to sea and try out these traditional fishing techniques to see if they work and try and catch fish.
More and more Pacific Islanders are building and voyaging on the traditional sailing canoes. They are using traditional navigation and seafaring skills handed down to them by the Master Navigators. There is a movement throughout the Pacific to bring back the knowledge of the sailing canoes.