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