27 May, 2009

Gorgeous Guam – An American Territory


Considered to be an insular, unincorporated part of the United States, Guam is one of five American Territories with their own civilian governments. It is the southernmost and largest of the Mariana Islands and its capital is Hagatna. It was first inhabited by Chamorros approximately 4000 years ago. First settled by the Spanish in 1668, Guam was invaded by the United States during the Spanish American War. It has remained under US control since then, with the brief exception of the occupation of the island by the Japanese during World War II.

Travel guides today state that the primary economic industry on the island today is tourism, although the economy is also supplemented by military bases owned by the United States.

Most people who travel to Guam are from Japan. The culture of the island is heavily influenced by its Chamorro roots. This influence is seen in the cuisine, dance, games, music, fashion and fishing techniques. Additionally, the unique blend of heritage which includes Spanish, Filipino, Mexican and American influences has created a unique culture. There is still an indigenous culture with its own unique traditions and language known as “I MagaHaga” There are many master craftsmen on the island who create masterpieces in woven work. These works included plaited mats, baskets, hats, bags as well as loom-woven belts, skirts and burial shrouds. Additionally, beaded adornments like combs and belts are created that are considered to be works of art. Tortoise shell jewelry is also popular.

The island is known for its beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches. It is one of the most popular places to visit in the area of the Mariana Islands not only because of the weather and the beaches, but also because of the unique culture and rich history of the island. A trip to Guam is a trip to be remembered.

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