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
The ceremony begins with the arrival of the Maga'Saina.
The deceased is already loaded into the Proa with all the provisions. The Royal Matuas stand guard around the proa in regal
circumstance. The family of the deceased are gathered around the Proa, praying and chanting for the safe deliverance of their
Upon arrival of the Maga'Saina, everyone is removed from the shoreline and the Proa....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 in the proa. He kneels before the
proa and raises both hands to the heaven. He chants and calls out to the Gods.
Yu'os Tåta....Yu'os Nåna
Sinilo'! Sinilo'! Sinilo'
Måtai i tataotao
gaigi ha' i guinifi
Matai i hinagong
Lao gaigi ha' i piniti
Chant...Låla' i Matai
Sa' gaigi gi kannai i Saina
Sa' gaigi si cle'lu gi Langhet
Sa' gaigi gi sagan minagof
Sa' gaigi si che'lu gi Langhet
Låla' i Matai