A WEEK after Rota opened its Chamorro Village Cultural Center, Saipan also opened its own on Capital Hill on Saturday morning.
The opening was in partnership with the Indigenous Affairs Office and organizers said it marked a new era for cultural experts and the community.
The Chamorro/Carolinian Cultural Center is designed to preserve indigenous cultures and traditions and keep then alive for the future generations.
Inetnon Åmot yan Kutturan Natibu/Mwiischil Safey me Kkoor Aramasal Falúw, or IAKN/MSKAF, the Association of Native Medicine and Culture president Isidoro T. Cabrera said they will be adding more displays and exhibits at the newly opened cultural center.
The Center was funded by the grant from the U.S. Administration for Native Americans through IAKN/MSKAF, a non-profit organization created to support traditional healing and preserve indigenous culture in 2007.
The $245,385 grant was aimed to establish cultural village centers on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
(Indigenous Affairs officials and island leaders cut the ribbon during the opening of the Chamorro/Carolinian Village Cultural Center on Saturday. From right- Cong. Greg Kilili Sablan, Administration of Native American grant consultant Lino M. Olopai, cultural expert Andrew Rapoulug, Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Indigenous Affairs resident executive Ignacio DLG Demapan, ANA Grant project director Manny F. Borja, and Association of Native Medicine and Culture president Isidoro T. Cabrera. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol)
The center on Rota was opened on March 19. The one on Tinian may be opened next year, Cabrera said.
The cultural center, he added, will offer classes for weaving, wood and stone carving, preparing traditional medicines and on other subjects that preserve Chamorro/Carolinian culture and traditions.
The center has invited local artist Noel Quitugua who arrived here from Washington last week and will be staying until May 12.
Quitugua, who created the miniature Chamorro house now displayed at the CNMI Museum, will be giving lectures to students, teachers and the community about authentic Chamorro houses, tools and canoes and how to make miniatures to preserve this craft.The Saipan center is located at 1213 Capitol Hill Rd., across from the Workforce Investment Agency office and below the Board of Parole Office. For more information, call 322-0278.