Chief Hurao of Hagatna Ancient Speech of 1671 as recorded by a French Priest Charles Le Gobien

You may find this Ancient speech at the Guam Supreme Court 2nd Floor

silhouette of hurao the
warrior protrayed by Ronbo Laguana [Introduction by William Hernandez, Curator of National Museum of Guam Cathedral-Basilica]

In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi claimed the islands of the Chamorus as the property of the kingdom of Spain. Later, the arrival of missionaries at the Chamoru archipelago completed the acquisition of these islands but not without resistance and war against the foreigners.
One of the notable Chamoru warrior chiefs was Hurao of Hagatna. Chief Hurao delivered a speech to his Chamoru people of Hagatna in 1671, encouraging them to defend the homeland and remove the foreigners from the islands. His speech was published in Paris by a French Jesuit historian based on the accounts of missionaries headed by Father Diego Luis de San Vitores. The rallying message by Chief Hurao was the preservation of Chamoru liberty, traditions, custom and national sovereignty.
Chief Hurao was the main leader and defender of Guahan and the Chamoru people. His goal was to expel foreigners whom he felt threatened the sovereignty of the Chamoru Nation. He was assassinated in 1672 by a Spanish soldier wielding a sword a few months after the deaths of Padre Diego San Vitores and his assistant, Pedro Calungsod. Chief hurao was the martyr for Chamoru freedom in the 17th century and represented the tenacity and bravery in the resistance against the Spanish Catholic military subjugation of their 2,600 year old civilization.

This address was translated from French to English by Reverend Paul Daly C.P.S., in Charles Le Gobien's "History of the Mariana Islands", 1700, Paris. The Chamoru version was produced from the English language by the Chamoru Language Commission of the Government of Guam.

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The Europeans would have done better to remain in their own country. We have no need of their help to live happily. Satisfied with what our islands furnish us, we desire nothing else. The knowledge which they have given us has only increased our needs and stimulated our desires. They find it evil that we do not dress. If that were necessary, nature would have provided us with clothes. They treat us as gross people and regard us as barbarians. But do we have to believe them? Under the excuse of instructing us, they are corrupting us. They take away from us the primitive simplicity in which we live.

They dare to take away our liberty, which should be dearer to us than life itself. They try to persuade us that we will be happier, and some of us had been blinded into believing their words. But can we have such sentiments if we reflect that we have been covered with misery and illness ever since those foreigners have come to disturb our peace?

Before they arrived on the island, we did not know insects. Did we know rats, flies, mosquitoes, and all the other little animals which constantly torment us? These are the beautiful presents they have made us. And what have their floating machines brought us? Formerly, we do not have rheumatism and inflammations. If we had sickness, we had remedies for them. But they have brought us their diseases and do not teach us the remedies. Is it necessary that our desires make us want iron and other trifles which only render us unhappy? latte village guahan

The Spaniards reproach us because of our poverty, ignorance and lack of industry. But if we are poor, as they claim, then what do they search for here? If they didn't have need of us, they would not expose themselves to so many perils and make such great efforts to establish themselves in our midst. For what purpose do they teach us except to make us adopt their customs, to subject us to their laws, and lose the precious liberty left to us by our ancestors? In a word, they try to make us unhappy in the hope of an ephemeral happiness which can be enjoyed only after death.

They treat our history as fable and fiction. Haven't we the same right concerning that which they teach us as incontestable truths? They exploit our simplicity and good faith. All their skill is directed towards tricking us; all their knowledge tends only to make us unhappy. If we are ignorant and blind, as they would have us believe, it is because we have learned their evil plans too late and have allowed them to settle here. Let us not lose courage in the presence of our misfortunes. They are only a handful. We can easily defeat them. Even though we don't have their deadly weapons which spread destruction all over, we can overcome them by our large numbers. We are stronger than we think! We can quickly free ourselves from these foreigners! We must regain our former freedom! [DATED: 1671]

HURǺO

Manma åmot hit nimina’lulok-ta nitakhelo’-ña kini i lumå’la’. Manma ke’eppok hit na u ta fanlamagof ya guaha gi ya hita mamfina’baba ya ta hongge i mames na fino’-ñiha. Låo, kåo ta po’lo ha’ ini na siñente siha yanggen ta hasso na ginen i finatton-ñiha i taotåo lågu siha na ta tutuhon manmalångu ya manmañetnot? Ti ta tungo’ put gå’gadikikesiha annai ti manmåfatto gi tano’-ta. Kåo ta tungo’ put chå’ka, ñåmu, låloyan otro na mandañuyan na gå’gadikikesiha ni’ sesso ha na’fañatsaga hit? Ini siha i manggefpa’go na nina’en-ñiha gi ya hita. Ya håfa ayu i manmåma’ya na gå’ga’-ñiha ha chulile’i hit? Tåyagi manma’pos na tiempo chetnot riuma yan tinåohan. Yanggen guaha minalångu siha, guaha åmte-ta. Låo manma chulili’e hit mågi chetnot siha ya ti manmafa’nå’gue hit håfa i amte siha. Kåo ta po’lo ha’ i che’cho’ minagof yan i mambåba na minalago’ na u na’fañagi hit lulok yan otro siha na fina’hugeti ni’ ti u fa’måolek hit? Manma achåka hit ni’ Españot siha na mañatsaga, manaitiningoyan manggago’ hit. Låo yanggen manmiche’ hit, håfa ma aliligåo guini? Yanggen ti manmalagonu hita, ti u fanhuyong ya u na’fanlåmen siha yan ti u ma cho’gue amånu i ma na’siña ya u fañåga gi tano’-ta. Håfa na asunto na manmafa’nå’gue hit ni’ i pengnga’-ñiha låo put i para ta dalalaki yan tattiyi i tiningo’-ñiha yan para ta na’falingu i guaguan na nina’en i mañaina-ta? Ginen i fino’-ñiha siha ma kechagi numa’fanaiminagof hit para ta tånga kadada’ na minagof ni’ ti hagu’on estaki i finatai.

Ma na’huyong kumu kado’kadoyan dinagi i fina’posta. Kåo ada ti mamparehu direcho-ta nu ayu siha i manmafa’na’gue-ta na mansenmagåhet? Manma honñoi tai minappot na lina’lå’-ta yan hinengge-ta. Todu i nina’siñan-ñiha ma na’huyong para u fa’baba hit todu i tiningo’-ñiha para u na’fampiniti hit. Yanggen mambåtchet yan mannangnga hit, ya ennåo malago’-ñiha para ta hongge, manaiguini hit sasigi ha’ ta eyak i mambåba na dibuyo’-ñiha siha ya sumalasata po’lo ha’ para u fañåga guini. Mungnga hit numana’falingu ånimu put ini na achåki. Mandidide’ ha’ siha. Ta å’ñåo achokkatåyaatmås-ta taiguihi gi ya siha ni’ manyayamak yan mamumuno’, ta hulat samanmeggai hit. Manmetgot-ña hit ki ta hongge ya siña ta apåtta hit ginen ini na tåotao hiyong siha ya ta na’ta’lo tåtte i minagof yan i minåolek lina’lå’-ta.” [CLC]

 

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