Historical Perspective of Helping Practices Associated with Birth, Marriage and Death Among Chamorros in Guam

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Ethnographic research focuses on traditional forms of reciprocity within social networks and examines changes that have occurred as a consequence of rapid Westernization. Methods of data collection include informal interviewing, participant observation, collection of life histories, and documentation of family genealogies. Differences explored include variations between genders, across age cohorts, levels of formal education, and comprehension of the Chamorro language. With illustrations.


The strength of this book is in the descriptive material in chapters on marriage, birth, and death, with additional analysis of two significant family events, the novena and village fiesta celebrating the feasts of patron saints. Findings about the helping practices during these rituals are placed effectively alongside early Chamorro explanations of the events, accounts by Spanish missionaries who observed Chamorro practices, and descriptions recorded immediately prior to and after World War II. A series of very interesting photographs depicting individuals and families engaged in normal everyday activities over the past one hundred years supplements the data obtained from archives, existing literature, and original research&.The inclusion of tables with census data and the nine-page glossary are also useful additions&.a major contribution to Chamorro culture and the history of Guam. The book will find an eager audience in Pacific studies, social work, medical anthropology, and in the health sciences.  The Contemporary Pacific

Table of Contents

Table of contents (Main headings):
Illustrations; Tables, Foreword, Preface
1. Introduction
2. Elaboration of the Research Topic
3. Description of the Research Location
4. Review of the Literature
5. Conceptual Framework & Study Format
6. Data Collection: Methodology & Fieldwork
7. Sources of Data
8. Marriage: The Evolution of Wedlock
9. Birth: the Deliverance of Progeny
10. Death: The Expression of Grief
11. Novenas & Fiestas: Gratitude Portrayed
12. Synopsis of Reciprocity among Chamorros
13. Revisiting the Research Variables
14. Sustainablility of the Chamorro Exchange System
15. Implications for Social Work
16. Recommendations for Further Study
Glossary of Chamorro Terms & Phrases; References; Appendices;

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