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Identity Crisis
                              by Norbert Perez
 
Chamori?   Chamoru?   Chamorro?
 
Hacha'Mori......Hacha'Moru.......Hacha'Morro.
 
Hacha....means First or One.
 
Mori.....means People.
 
Our ancestors called themselves HachaMori because they believed to be the First People in the Universe.
 
Moru & Morro......means Dumb...or....Uneducated
                    or....Undocumented.......or......Lacking luster.
 
What is the modern day term for Dumb?  "Mudorro". Mudoru or Mudorro comes from the root word "Moru" or "Morro".
 
In 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan visited our island, it was our first encounter with western civilization. His right-hand man Juan Pobre documented the encounter and wrote down that the island people called themselves "chamurre". Technically this should be HachaMori or Chamori. Back then we had three classes of people in the islands. First, we had the royalty class known as "chamori". Then we had the middle class or artisans and warriors known as "Hacha'ot". Finally, we had the slaves known as "Man'Achang". Of course, Magellan did not meet with the "Hacha'ot" or the "Man'Achang". He met with the chiefs and the royalties or the "Chamori".
 
Knowing this fact that our ancestors called themselves...."chamurre/chamori....as "documented in the Spanish Journals" isn't it logical for us to adopt this name-title for ourselves? Remember...this is the First-ever real proof we have of what we should be called. This name-title came from our guelo' or ancestors.....Not some namesake pinned to us by some anthropologist or historian.
 
You choose your destiny.....
HachaMori......First People in the Universe?
HachaMoru....HachaMorro........First Dummy in the Universe?
 
I also found out another interesting fact about the "Hacha'ots". They were either closely related to the royalties or themselves were once royalties but downgraded for misconduct or taboo. Hacha again meaning First and "Ot" meaning "to be displaced or someone who has committed an unconscienable sin.
 
Remember the terms "chu'ot? and "ma chu'ot"?
Chu'ot means to hurt, Ma chu'ot means to be hurt.
 
Our language system is the living-link to our ancient culture and traditions. Each and every word or term has a meaning and a history. The term "Hachagua" is the ancient word for marriage.  "Hacha" meaning One or First and "gua" meaning to be or to become. Putting the words together therefore mean "to be One or to become One"......something that the Lahi and the Palao'an profess to do.
 
The traditional healers we call suruhana or suruhanu.....should be changed to "sulu'hana or sulu'hanu" which means "night gatherer". In ancient times these healers gathered their herbs and roots under the cover of darkness to protect their secrets. The word for night fishing in our language is sulu' or sumulu'. Once again...saying "sulu'hana" or "sulu'hanu" really fast can sound as "suruhana" or "suruhanu", especially to an outsider. 
 
Note...Maga'Saina (Norbert Perez) Mataknga presented and discussed this issue with a group of Chamori citizens living in Georgia USA and Texas USA in August 2007. Biba Chamori. 

"It is said that learning another person's language is the greatest form of honor and respect because you become an intimate part of that person's ancestry." norbert perez, Washington DC 2001.

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