The People of Guam

The ancient Chamorros, the earliest known inhabitants of the Mariana Islands, were of Mayo-Polynesian descent originating from southeast Asia as early as 2,000 B.C. Through linguistic, archaeological, and historical evidences, the cultural similarities of the ancient and present day Chamorros resemble the languages and cultures of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Phillippines. The first historical document relating the general physical features of the ancient Chamorros, written by Pifigetta in 1521, described them as being tall, big-boned, robust with tawny brown skin and long black hair. The present day Chamorros are a mixture of various ethnic compositions consisting of the many cultural groups originating from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In 1962, the military lifted the Naval Clearing Act which allowed other ethnic groups to make Guam their home. Since that time, many Filipinos, Caucasians, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indians, and Pacific Islanders have moved to Guam. THe present population is a rich blend of many races which makes Guam a cosmopolitan community of various customs and traditions.

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