March 22, 2011
ROTA — Artwork and other items depicting the island’s culture and traditions now have a permanent place where they will be showcased and preserved for posterity.
The Rota Chamorro Village Cultural Center at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs resident office in Songsong was officially opened on Saturday morning.
Rota Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola, Sen. Juan Ayuyu, Rota-Ind., and cultural experts were among those who participated in the occasion.
Father Delfin Tumaca blessed the building prior to the ceremonial ribbon-cutting after which the public got a glimpse of items depicting Rota’s culture and traditions in the form of photographs, sketches and drawings, wood and stone carvings, wood husking, woven products, shells and beadwork, handmade jewelry, tools, decorations and ornaments as well as preparation of traditional medicines.
In their messages, Mayor Mendiola, Rota Municipal Council secretary Prudencio Manglona, Inetnon Amoy yan Kutturan Natibu/Mwiischil Safey mey Kkoor Aramasal Faluw or IAKN/MSKF president Isidoro T. Cabrera, IAKN/MSKF project director Manny F. Borja and recording artist Barrie C. Toves said they were very happy with the opening of the cultural center, the first in the CNMI.
It was funded by a grant from the U.S. Administration for Native Americans.
The IAKN/MSKF, a non-profit organization, was chartered in 2007 to advocate and support traditional healing and cultural programs of the indigenous Chamorros and Carolinians, to help protect habitats of medicinal plants, to document cultural traditions in the vernacular languages, to publish educational materials, and to produce non-print materials including DVDs, CDs, and television programming.
In September last year, IAKN/MSKF received a grant to establish village cultural centers on Rota, Saipan and Tinian.