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Ancient Chamori Funeral Rites

The ancient people of Guahan practiced two distinct kinds of funeral ritual. First, they had a ritual called: Sinilo'Utak, which is a burial at sea and offered only to the adult males of the clan. In this ritual, the deceased is interred in a proa (boat burial) and sailed off. The proa is lavishly decorated with flowers. Baskets filled with fruits, baked fish, dried fish, and cooked food are placed in the proa to sustain the man's spirit on his long journey.

The other funeral ritual practiced by the Taotaomo'nas is called: Sinilo'Hinafot, which is a burial on land. This type of burial and funeral ritual is rendered only to the females of the clan and young, adolescent males. The remains are always interred underneath their Latte Stone dwellings. 

Scenes & Scripts
Tinige' Norbert Perez

The ceremony begins with the arrival of the Maga'Saina. The deceased is laid out in a påla at the entrance leading to the home, covered with flowers and provisions. The Royal Matuas stand guard around the house in regal circumstance. The family of the deceased are gathered around the deceased, praying and chanting.

Upon arrival of the Maga'Saina, everyone is removed from the deceased by the Royal Matuas. The Maga'Saina addresses the crowd. He chants and tells them about the beauty and the wonders of death. He tells them about the paradise in the heavens. He tells them that the custom of the Taotao Tano' is to celebrate the living. He anoints them with flower petals.

Finally, he turns his attention to the deceased. He kneels before the Guma' and raises both hands to the heaven. He chants and calls out to the Gods.
Yu'os Tåta....Yu'os Nåna
Estague' i patgon-mu

(Download Scripts)

Sinilu'!  Sinilu'!  Sinilu'
Måtai i tataotao
Lao gaigi ha' i guinifi
Matai i hinagong
Lao gaigi ha' i piniti
Sinilu'  Sinilu'  Sinilu'

Chant...Låla' i Matai
Mungnga matångsi
Sa' gaigi gi kannai i Saina
Mungnga makatiyi
Sa' gaigi si cle'lu gi Langhet
Mungnga matångsi
Sa' gaigi gi sagan minagof
Mungnga makatiyi
Sa' gaigi si che'lu gi Langhet
Låla' i Matai


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