Representative of the possible cultural misunderstandings that arose in the West’s first encounters with the civilizations of the Pacific, the incident was a vivid example of the conflicts – both overt and subtle – that would later arise between the indigenous people and the powers that would come to rule over them.
What the explorers viewed as thievery, the islanders may have viewed as reciprocity – an important tenet of the Chamorro culture that continues to be practiced today.
For reasons not recorded the islanders took items from Magellan’s ship including a small skiff.
Magellan retaliated by attacking the islanders, killing seven villagers.
The history of the Chamorro people in this area dates back 4,000 to 4,500 years, when seafaring peoples migrated from Southeast Asia and settled in the Marianas.
Landing on Guam, Magellan’s expedition used the stop to rest and replenish his crew’s food supply.Guamanians felt that reunification would be rewarding the Saipanese interpreters and that Guam’s economy would not be able to handle the cost of bringing the Northern Marianas standard of living up to that of Guam’s. Though the end of World War II would see a re-unification of the Marianas under one American flag, the United States maintained the political division between the two territories.The people of the Northern Marianas thought the reunification would help them gain U. Administered separately by the US Navy, Guam was governed as a flag territory, and the Marianas as a US trusteeship.The agreement, which was enacted in April 1899, ceded Guam and the Spanish-controlled Philippines to the US for million.The fate of the remaining Mariana Islands was defined in a separate agreement between Spain and Germany, signed soon after the Paris treaty concluded.Though the people of the island chain’s two political territories, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, today hold US citizenship and live under the US flag, they live in a politically divided land – a result of political demarcations that date back to the nineteenth century.Much of what we know about the history of the Chamorro people comes from historical accounts from European expeditions dating back to the sixteenth century.So deep was this blow to Chamorro solidarity that, in the few years after the war ended, Chamorros from Guam welcomed a new naming convention that would distinguish them from the Chamorros of the rest of the Mariana Islands.Chamorros on Guam decided to call themselves Guamanians.Guam, having fallen to the Japanese at the start of the war, put Chamorros across enemy lines during the thirty month Japanese occupation.Chamorros from Saipan and Rota were recruited by the Japanese military to serve as interpreters, police investigators, and staff assistants.