The Giant Fish which almost ate Guam in half

Remaining tail of fish
Remaining tail of Fish
hangs inside of reef hole
Tail opposite view
massive tail
opposite view

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[This version was reprinted in 1986, researched and compiled by Olympia Q. Camacho for the Dept. of Education Chamoru Studies and Special Project Division. The legend was derived from a much older publication.]
Long, long ago, the shape of Guam was very different from what it is now. As you know now, the island of Guam looks like a large foot, being narrow in the middle and large at both ends. But in the old days, it looked different. There was a group of happy people who lived on Guam in the old days. But at one time, they became weak and unhappy as a result of intermarriages and tribal disunity caused by the influences and evil ideas (as warfare) of newcomers to the island. Along with the other hardships that bothered the people, a huge fish started destroying the island. Each evening they would come out of hiding and begin eating the middle part of the island. Everyone on the island felt that there was no way of stopping the monster fish that was eating away at Guam. The beautiful island was being destroyed by a monstrous fish that could neither be found nor destroyed. Then, from nowhere, appeared a woman who said she was known as the Virgin Mary. In due time, the woman caught the monstrous fish with her hair and tied it up for everyone to see. Because the Virgin Mary saved the island from the giant fish, the Chamorro people look upon her as their protector and call her Saint Mary. She is known for her many blessings upon the island in time of trouble and need. She is considered to be the blessed protector of the people of the islands in the Pacific.

[An ancient version of the legend is found in Pacific History, Papers from the 1992 8th Pacific History Association Conference Page 153 presented by Laura M. Torres Souder].
The "Maidens Who Saved Guam" tells of a monster from the sea, who long ago began to chew its way through Guam, for it was determined to destroy the island. Night after night the men went out in search of the monster but could not find it. The young women would talk about the monster whenever they gathered to wash their hair with soap oranges. Their favorite spot was Agana Spring. When they finished, the pool would be covered with soap orange peels. [Note: An older account states that the maidens rinsed their long hair with juice of lemons after washing their hair in clear water. They tossed the lemon peelings into Hagatna Springs known as Matan Hanom below the village of Sinajana. (Grey, Eve. 1951. "How the Young Maidens Saved Guam Island". Legends of Micronesia Book two. High Commissioner. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Department of Education. Page. 126.)] One day a girl noticed these peels floating in Pago Bay. She was puzzled by their appearance. After some thought, she surmised that the monster must have eaten a hole all the way under the island from Pago Bay to Agana Spring and that was where it was hiding. The next day, when the girls gathered at Agana Spring, they wove a net with their long, black hair, then sat around the pool and began to sing. The monster, enchanted with the music, swam up from the bottom of the pool to listen to the girls sing. Suddenly the girls spread their net over the spring and they all dived in. The monster was caught and the island of Guam was saved.

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