Lukao Fuha revitalizes old Chamoru tradition
JERICK SABLAN | JPSABLAN@GUAMPDN.COM
Updated 1:52 p.m. BST Mar. 5, 2018
An ancestral journey, Lukao Fuha
Several residents attended the Lukao Fuha, a journey to Fouha Bay in Umatac, on Feb. 17, 2018. The journey was once made by ancient Chamorros.
Several residents recently made the journey to Fouha Bay, in Umatac, to relive an ancient Chamoru tradition of visiting the sacred area.
Independent Guåhan and Our Islands are Sacred hosted the Feb. 17 hike down to Fouha Bay to help residents relive the tradition, which was recorded by the Spanish.
Residents attend the Lukao Fuha, a hike down to Fua
Residents attend the Lukao Fuha, a hike down to Fua Rock in Umatac, to honor the island’s ancestors on Feb. 17, 2018.
“Lukao Fuha is one of those kind of journeys that is very rare here on island. It’s very rare to see people in this island practicing a practice to reconnect with our ancestors,” Joey Certeza said.
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He said the journey to Fouha Bay is one of the only ancient Chamoru ceremonies memorialized by the Spanish in writing.
“It makes us relive those moments. It may not be exactly the way it’s supposed to be, but the fact that we’re here with that intention, with that purpose, that’s what it’s about,” Certeza said.
Puntan and Fu’una
He said the lukao, or procession, gives people a sense of being part of the islands and expressing what it means to be an indigenous Chamoru.
Our Islands are Sacred has hosted the lukao over the past several years to honor the Chamoru ancestors and to honor the creator gods Puntan and Fu’una, also known as Pontan and Fona.
Legend says that Puntan and Fu’una, who were brother and sister, created the world together. Fu’una used parts of her brother to create the different parts of the world.
For example, with his eyes she created the moon and the sun, with his body the land, and with his eyebrows the rainbow.
Fu’una gave up her life to give life to the world and to the Chamoru people.
Laso Fu’a ‘cradle of creation’
Guam Chamorus traditionally consider Laso Fu’a, or Lasu Fua, the rock pillar that juts out of the ocean reaching toward the sky in Fouha Bay, as the cradle of creation for the people of the Mariana Islands, and in some accounts, for all of humankind, according to Guampedia.
Laso Fu’a, the remains of Fu’una in the creation story of Puntan and Fu’una, is considered one of the most important Chamoru oral traditions.
Fray Antonio de los Angeles, the first missionary who lived among the Chamorus in Guam from 1596-1597, reported that they “believed they are born of a rock – whence they all go each year for a fiesta,” according to Guampedia.
Chamorus would give offerings as part of the celebration.
Those who attended the Lukao Fuha were given small offerings that were placed on a mat in front of Fu’a Rock.
Several prayers were said, and songs sung before attendees placed another offering into a fire.
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Journey to Fouha Bay
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De Oro: A way that reconnects us
Moñeka De Oro said it’s important to have events like the Lukao Fuha, not only to remind people of the sacredness of the land and ocean, but the connection we have together as people with them.
“It’s a way that reconnects us to the land and with each other,” she said.
De Oro said Fouha Bay is a beautiful and serene place that has great energy, and every time she goes there she feels calmer.
She said it’s a place where the ancestors used to go to pray for abundance, prosperity, peace and fertility.
“Knowing that we’re reconnecting to them is a really powerful activity,” she said.
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Originally Published 12:24 p.m. BST Mar. 5, 2018
Updated 1:52 p.m. BST Mar. 5, 2018