Category Archives: News

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!



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

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.


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


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




Picture of the front gate:


Si Yu’os Må’åse’


si James Bamba
Åkgak weaving instructor – Sågan Kotturan CHamoru Community Gallery

I have setup a display at the 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


The install seems to be working.

A big Si Yu’os Må’åse’ to Amber from Blue Amber Trio for her assistance in guiding me through the website overhaul.  The overhaul seems to be going pretty smooth and I just have to port a tad bit more information onto this new shell and all should be gef bonitutu.

Si Yu’os Må’åse’ for your continued support!


si James Bamba
Ginen Guåhan

Updating the Ginen Guåhan website!

Stand by to stand by!  I’m currently giving the Ginen Guåhan website a fresh new look, leaving the dated and early 2000’s website behind!  New ideas and concepts to provide my visitors with a user friendly and welcoming experience!


Si Yu’os Må’åse’ for your continued support!


si James

Ginen Guåhan