Monday, October 24, 2011

Ancient Chamorro Fishing Method

Hafa Adai para todu hamyu:

It has been a while since I've blogged and I have my reasons. First of all, I will be posting more art pics in the coming future but for the mean time, I want to share the followng Ancient Chamorro fishing methods and a brief description of each:

1. Mano'cho': This is a method in which fish(es) are caught by hand.

2. Lalagu: In ancient times, mostly women used this method by which feeling with your bare hands along the rocks and crevices. When using this method and when one does catch a fish, one must immediately bite the fish(es) head in order to expire it.

Note: When I was in the hills of Yona in the beautiful island of Guahan, I used this method to catch Uhang (fresh water shrimp). With that in mind, I must state the obvious, one is always in imminent danger of grabbing a hold of an asuli (fresh water eel) instead of the intended target.

3. Umefohmo': This is another fishing method used by the beautiful Chamorrita of times passed but not forgotten. The Chamorrota would put a pile of rocks in a woven basket and place it near other rocks in the reef. By doing so, fishes are tricked into thinking that the rocks are a safe place to hide. The Chamorrita would then remove the rocks slowly to cath the fishes in the basket full of rock. Who said ancient Chamorros had no logic and a sound analysis.

4. Ka'tokcha: This method of fishing utilizes the fisga. The ancient Chamorro would stand in shallow water and patiently wait for their target. Once the target has been aquired, he threw the fisga. Remember the light refraction takes place during this process. It's amazing how intelligent the ancient Chamorro's were.

5. Peskan Sumulo': Peska means to hunt if on land and fish when in the ocean and Sulo' is a torch. Yes, it basically means torch fishing at night. In order to utilize this method, one must collect dried coconut leaves and the coconut gunot; wrap in a piece of would and light it. As you may have guessed, the light from the sulo attracted the fishes just as in using the light to attract the Atulai when night fishing today.

6. Etokcha': This method is the modern day equivalent to spear fishing.

7. Guasa': For this method, the ancient Chamorro used poison by means of harvesting the fishes. This is illegal today so please refrain from using poisons. So for everyone out there, no derris or puteng.

8. Gigao: This method is a rock barrier within the reef; if lowtide(ma'ti) sets in, some fishes are left in the rock barrier. All one needs to do is collect. Another superb fishing method.

The above are just some of the fishing methods used by the ancient chamorros.

Saina Ma'ase,

Gordon "FIGO" Salas