Silebra I Chamorro: Martha Tenorio shares the love of weaving - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Silebra I Chamorro: Martha Tenorio shares the love of weaving

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Biba Mes Chamorro! We here at KUAM take pride in the local culture and for Chamorro month we will put our team to the test. We are celebrating the history and culture by showing you the traditional ways.

It's with patience and skill, and each leaf she weaves, GW High School teacher Martha Tenorio does her part to keep the Chamorro spirit alive. "As a child what drew me to it was the whole creativeness of it. you take something like this you can create grasshoppers or birds, or baskets or katupaks or hats and that was a lot of fun for me," she said.

We spent an afternoon with Martha, learning her favorite traditional style of weaving, a katupa. "As a little girl I remember sitting on the floor of the outside kitchen while my mom and my grandmother would be weaving katupas for the fiesta table," she said. "What they would do is make these little baskets to put the rice in and the great thing about the katupa is it maintains the freshness of the rice so it doesn't get mahangge for up to seven days."

In the old Chamorro tradition, hunters, fishermen and those traveling between villages would carry the katupa as packed lunch. But weaving had many other traditional forms for in and outside the home, as Tenorio added, "The guagua the different types of baskets whether it's putting food on the table or hunting or fishing, things they are harvesting from the jungle third would be the thatched roofing, the higai would be when they weave the leaves and use it for the thatched roof."

This knowledge of weaving passed down by our saina, she hopes to teach her students. She explained, "When I'm weaving I'm right back as being that child with my mom, my grandmother, and my grandfather, but the other thing weaving does is it really connects us straight to our heritage cause we're doing the exact same weaving our ancestors did, when I weave a katupak that's the same katupak, a guagua that's their guagua, and even the thatched roof. By weaving, we are perpetuating this knowledge that our sainas gave us and that's something that belongs to all of us, it is our heritage."

It's a heritage we are proud to be a part of. So, using the technique Martha showed us, I tried my hand at weaving, and well in the end.

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