JFK HS Gupot Chamorro Display

March 21, 2014: I had the opportunity to display and educate the youth on traditional and contemporary weaving at John F. Kennedy High School in Tamuning, Guam during their 2014 Gupot CHamoru festivities. More »

Meeting of the minds.

April 26, 2014: I had the wonderful pleasure of getting to spend several hours working with two fine weavers. Mark Benavente, grandson of Master Weaver, Defunta Tan Elena Benavente, and Jose Cruz, who studied with Def. Tan Elena and specializes in åkgak weaving visited and discussed all things weaving while I had a booth at the GNOSC International Bazaar at Top o the Mar, Maina, Guam. More »

åniyun åkgak

Handwoven pandanus leaf ring. More »

Matatnga - Fearless Latte

June 23, 2012: I had the honor of meeting and spending some time with Joe Guererro at the 9th Annual Dinanña Påå Taotao Tåno CHamoru Dance Competition & Festival, held at the University of Guam Field House. More »

Teaching weaving at the University level!

April 17, 2014: I was given a very humbling opportunity to teach weaving at the University of Guam, to a Chamorro 102 (CM-102) class during the 2014 Spring Semester. There were some exceptional students in that class, but all students did very good! More »

mamamfok åkgak - weaving pandanus leaves

July 9, 2012: Weaving the antigu Chamorro hat, as detailed and illustrated in the publication An Account of the Corvette L’ Uranie’s Sojourn at the Mariana Island, 1819. More »

processing åkgak

February 21, 2014: Preparing green for boiling and drying after harvesting several cuttings of akgak from my ranch. More »

 

Posters!

A culmination of collaborative work between myself, weaving the items for the poster and the creative minds of photographers, editors and designers, I am able to present to you all, posters of the weaving of Guam.  I decided to make these posters because of a lack of documentation and availability of Chamorro language materials, in particular in the area of weaving.  There are posters which are made by the Depart of Education, Chamorro Studies Division, but they aren’t necessarily available to the public (from what I can tell).  So here I present to you my passion, i tinifok ManChamoru (the weaving of the Chamorros)!

 

Currently (as of 26MAY2015) we have the following poster available:

Mandikike’ na Tinifok Siha – Small Woven Items, which contains 19 different woven items, with Chamorro and English names!  A great teaching aid for teachers and parents alike!  This poster is available in two sizes at this time, 13in. x 19in. and 24in. x 36in.  Please click the link above to visit my Etsy page to purchase!  Si Yu’os Må’åse’ for your continued support!

Poster_web

Inetnon Mañitufok:Mina’tres – 3rd Gathering of Weavers

UPDATE Due to typhoon Dolphin we postponed the Inetnon until a later date.  Si Yu’os Må’åse’ for your understanding.

 

Buenas yan Håfa Adai!

Several talented weavers will be holding their third monthly “Inetnon Mañitufok – Gathering of Weavers” on Saturday, May 16, from 11am-6pm, which is generously being hosted by Sagan Kotturan Chamoru in building 5 (Orange building to the right of the hut being built).

image13

For information on the cultural center’s location please visit:
Sagan Kotturan Chamoru

 

Inetnon Mañitufok is a free, open to the public weaving session where people of all ages and skill levels can come to learn weaving, just watch, and even take photos.
Inetnon Mañitufok is made possible by the work of Jose Cruz, familian Lazaro of Maga, Mangilao, Thomas Torres, familian Carabao of Yo’ña, Mark Benavente, familian Bruno of Santa Rita and James Bamba of Agana Heights.

For more information please email ginenguahan@gmail.com

Radio show, Exhibits and Workshops Oh My!

 

On March 26, 2015, I along with Master of Body Ornamentation Julie “Jill” Q. Benavente departed Guam for California to display our work and hold workshops on behalf of the Guam Council of the Arts and Humanities (CAHA – www.guamcaha.org ) to spread awareness and showcase a small portion of the works which will be exhibited at the 12th Annual Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac – www.guamfestpac2016.com ) which will be hosted on Guam from May 22 to June 4, 2016. We arrived in Los Angeles and were interviewed on the BBQ Show, a radio show on Dash Radio; an Internet based radio station. After talking about our work as Guam based Chamoru artisans and discussing FestPac we headed down to San Diego to get settled and prepare for the Che’lu San Diego (www.chelusd.org ) Chamorro Cultural Festival which was held at California State University San Marcos on March 28, 2015. I displayed my woven items and talked story with many Chamorros from young to many years young. It was an exciting time to display my wares and to hold workshops. I was able to snag three people into attending my workshop and I taught them how to weave åkgak bracelets and birds. Afterwards we headed back to National City and prepared to showcase our work and hold workshops over the next two days at the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club (SDGC – www.sdguamclubinc.org ). I taught two people there who were going to share the knowledge they learned with their dance troupe Uno Hit. I was pretty excited that they wanted to learn how to weave in order to share with their friends and families! Overall the trip was enjoyable and fulfilling, and I’d do it all over again!

Si Yu’os Ma’åse’ for all those who I met and connected with and to those who took the time to learn a little of my craft and share it with those who couldn’t attend the workshops. And a dånkolo na Si Yu’os Ma’åse’ to United Airlines, CAHA and the FestPac committee for making my participation in this possible. BIBA!!!

To see photos of this event check out my Instagram and Facebook pages!

Just a collection of photos taken by/of me and my work in San Diego at the end of March. I was sent there by CAHA (Guam…

Posted by Ginen Guåhan on Sunday, April 5, 2015

https://Instagram.com/ginenguahan/

Heading to the Che’lu San Diego Chamorro Cultural Festival

Buenas yan Håfa Adai!

 

I’ll be demonstrating and exhibiting at the Che’lu San Diego Chamorro Cultural Festival which will be held at the California State University at San Marcos  tomorrow, March 28, 2015 from 11-6pm. Check me and the masters Jill Benavente (body ornamentation), Frank “Cornbeef” Lizama (blacksmith) & Greg Pangelinan (carving) who will be holding workshops at the festival.  Sign ups will be conducted in the morning at the Guam FestPac delegation canopy.

 

Si Yu’os Ma’åse’ for your continued support and if you are there stop by our booth and say Håfa Adai!

 

 

2014 and now 2015!

Buenas yan Saludu todu hamyo!  Greetings to you all!

2014 has been a great year for me and Ginen Guåhan, working with several other weavers and collaborating with artists of other mediums!  The year panned out with exciting new creations, several shows and the opportunity to be involved in several festivals. Just to name a few of the artists of who I worked with:

Amber Word of Blue Amber Trio (facebook page)

Sandrine of Chamoritta Swimwear (facebook page)

Farm to Table Guam Corp. (facebook page)

and there are many others that I didn’t list, but these are just a handful of the ones.

2015 proves to be another busy busy year as I and every other artist, artisan and craftsperson on the island prepares for the Festival of Pacific Arts 2016 which will be hosted on Guam!  Look forward to that from May 22nd to the 4th of June, 2016!

Another item of interest is the publication of my first book in a series, for weaving!  Keep your eyes peeled for this one, as it should prove to be a valuable resource for those that may not be on island or do not have access to a weaving instructor.

And lastly, for this year, minus all the events, shows and workshops that I will be doing or participating in, the most important event I will be doing this year is my Artist Residency at the Art Haus Solomon Islands in June, 2015.  This residency will allow me to share the Chamorro culture with our brothers and sisters to the south in the Solomon Islands.  I will be spending a few weeks there teaching weaving to the wonderful people to our south.  It is such an honor to be selected among the many talented people who applied and disciplines which were to choose from.

 

Si Yu’os Må’åse’ for your support over this last year, and I hope to see you around!

 

-James Bamba

Ginen Guåhan

Busy busy busy!

School and Ginen Guåhan take up a lot of my time as of late.  My last post was from August and since then, if you’ve been following my Instagram and Facebook page  you would know what I’ve been up to 😉  But here’s a little recap and update to the upcoming events we’ll be at!


I’ve been working with several other artists and designers as of late to collaborate or contribute to their endeavors.  One that has been taking place since August is with Sandrine of  Chamorrita Swimwear, who designs and sells bikinis here on Guam.  And through our efforts, not only my work, but the work of my fellow weavers have been featured as well in Sandrine’s photo shoots.  A dånkolo na Si Yu’os Må’åse’ to Sandrine for choosing to showcase the culture of Guam and help bring weaving back to the forefront in social media to help revive this fading tradition and art.  Here’s the post which features a woven åkgak (pandanus leaf) potseras (bracelet):


 And here’s the post from Facebook which showcases a guåfak (pandanus leaf sleeping mat) by my close friend and fellow weaver Jose Cruz familian Lazaro of Mangilao:


And here’s a lovely guagua’ (coconut leaf fishing basket) made with guinaiya


And not only have we been working behind the scenes with other artists, but have been also working with several non-profit organizations to help bring awareness to weaving as a value-added product made with locally grown plants. We supported Farm To Table Guam with several woven baskets in September for their prize giveaway and exhibited our work and demonstrated for the crowd during their soft opening market in conjunction with the annual Mangilao Donne’ Festival which was kinda rainy 😉

We were invited back to participate in their Grand Opening which occurred on November 6, 2014.  The next one is December 4, 2014 at the site between the Santa Teresita Church and Mangilao Senior Citizens center.

Also in September we worked with Dukduk Goose to support their launch party at Guam Auto Spot in East Hagåtña with weaving and cooking over 40 katupat.  A dånkolo na Si Yu’os Må’åse’ to Thomas Torres familian Karabao with helping weave the katupats and to Mark Benavente and Thomas for workin’ the crowd with their mad skills.  Mark was gracious enough to set us up with that exhibition and demonstration gig at the Nihi Launch party.

In October, we were somewhat swamped with several events to include supporting the Micronesian cup with seven large baskets, a henton ulu (mwarmwar, floral headband) and leis.  We were excited to partner up with Animun Tasi & the Marianas Paddlesports Racing Association to showcase Guam’s traditional and contemporary arts.  To allow the participating nations coming to Guam to participate in the Micronesian cup to see what Guam has to offer in respects to our cultural heritage.

During that same weekend, Ginen Guåhan and Friends (sounds like a Television show haha) were preparing for the Luna Festival and I was working on several items for the now Miss Universe Guam, Brittany Mesa Bell’s native costume.  Which I would like to add, made the cut and she was selected for Best Native Costume!  After that several of my friends and family helped out with a 170 henton ulu (mwarmwar, coconut leaf headband) order which was to be presented to the visiting Japanese exchange students at Tiyan High School.  We were also there to exhibit and demonstrate traditional and contemporary weaving so that the exchange students could see what the Chamorro culture has to offer!.All in all October was a busy month for us all!

November is here, and well, we’ve been busy busy busy!  Jose has helped me out with a huge order for a special birthday celebration by taking on a 100 fan order, we’re gearing up for another exhibition and demonstration at Tiyan High School this Friday, November 21, 2014 and we’re frantically preparing for December as it closes in on us and the Christmas rush arrives.  Get your baskets and other wonderful items, from several extremely talented weavers (I am just a basket weaver and events coordinator haha 😀  )
Si Yu’os Må’åse’ (Thank You) as always for your interest, and continued support of all my and my fellow weavers’ endeavors as we persevere to protect, promote and perpetuate just one facet of i kotturan CHamoru (the Chamoru culture).
-James Bamba
Ginen Guåhan – From Guam

Workin’ hard for headbands!

On August 13, 2014, I was asked by two very close friends of mine if I could weave some headbands for the opening ceremonies at Sågan Kotturan Chamoru – Chamoru Cultural Center. I obliged, and one of them jokingly said, weave 300! I wasn’t too sure about that, but a more reasonable number of 150 was suggested by my other friend. I agreed that 150 was a more realistic and achievable goal haha. So here are a few pics of the evening as it progressed. 😀  Delirium set in as the sun started rising lol. A big thank you to my friend Lori for helping me on a midnight weaving session and Celeste, Ian and Jonathan for assisting with procuring materials.

01

 The beginnings of a 11 hour weaving session, with an hour break somewhere in the middle. haha  We’re starting at midnight YAY!

02

 Here we have about 40 or so finished.  It’s still dark!

03

 Finished the first batch, which was about 75, starting on batch #2…  It’s daylight now.

05

 Up close pic of the headbands.

06

Lori and I completed 131 headbands.  Just shy of the 150 mark by 19.  We ran out of coconut leaves, and steam.  Zzzz..

04

In the end…. I was attacked by headbands!

Where have all the weavers gone?

Just last month, I had the honor of being interviewed by a writer from the Marianas Variety.  A young lady by the name of Amber Word (not Amber Wood, as the article stated) asked if she could interview me for a possible article on indigenous weaving to be published in the paper.  On Sunday, July 6th, 2014, the article titled “Dream weaver – Where have all the weavers gone?” was published.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with her, even though it took quite a bit of time to setup for the interview!  I wanted to make sure all bases were covered and that any questions that might be asked could be answered quickly and easily through seeing the things I would be talking about.  So I setup up a fairly large display of what woven items I had available.  Here’s a photograph!

I fear that I may have talked and talked and talked forever, as I’m pretty passionate about weaving.  I talked about mostly everything!  How it all started, my journey up to this point, what I can weave, what I plan to weave, what materials I use, and well… The list probably could go on and on and on.

So, after a few hours of enduring the pain and suffering of my babbling on about weaving, I figured I should let her go and not tåne’ (detain) her any more.  After all, I thought it would be neat to be in the paper, so I better stop talking before she hates weaving!  A week or so later,  there’s an article in the Marianas Sunday Variety with really neat photographs of my work, and a write up that was true to the interview.

I’d like to thank Ms. Word for the opportunity to be interviewed and for the efforts she put in to write and submit this article.  It not only helps to perpetuate, preserve and protect the Chamorro culture, which that in and of itself is worthy of praise, but it exposes the masses who read this paper, both on island an across the globe digitally, to a facet of the Chamorro culture that isn’t seen on a daily basis, if ever.

Si Yu’os Må’åse’ ni todu i bidå-mu, Amber!

si James C. Bamba
Traditional CHamoru Åkgak Weaver

Here’s a screen shot of the article.

dreamweaver

Sågan Kotturan Chamoru opening!

Last updated:  13AUG2014 @ 2133hrs CHst

Exciting news!  The Sågan Kotturan Chamoru, or Chamoru Cultural Center will be opening it’s doors to the public, THIS Friday, August 15, 2014!  The Center’s Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 11:00am to 6:00pm.

The center will soon provide various educational and cultural programming for the community that will focus on Chamoru culture and language, and will include instruction and apprenticeship programs in various traditional and contemporary art forms such as weaving, carving, body ornamentation, dancing/chanting and other areas that identify our unique and rich culture.

For more information, please contact me or the center at sagankotturanchamoru@gmail.com

 

Si Yu’os Må’åse’ mañaina-hu yan mañelu’-hu.

 

Map:

 

Picture of the front gate:

 

Si Yu’os Må’åse’

 

si James Bamba
Åkgak weaving instructor – Sågan Kotturan CHamoru

 

Guampedia.com Community Gallery

I have setup a display at the Guampedia.com Community Gallery starting on the 25th of July and will be there till the 30th.  The Community Gallery’s current location is at the Julale Shopping Center, 424 West O’Brien Drive, Hagåtña, Guam 96910. 

 

The weaving display at the Guampedia Community Gallery, July 24-30, 2014