Kuentusi I Hanom




Kuentusi I Hanom seeks to privilege the voices and perspectives of Pacific Islanders about the deep cultural importance and meaning of water in their lives. These stories of water are from indigenous Chamorros and other Micronesians—those who trace their heritage to the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. Kuentusi I Hanom is a collaborative pilot project between Humanities Guåhan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service through funding from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The voices that are heard in stories, chants, poetry, personal narratives, reflections and other forms of creative expression have been collected and curated for presentation in this interactive digital kiosk as part of the Water/Ways and Hita I Hanom exhibitions. Kuentusi I Hanom serves as an important and necessary space for the often-marginalized voices of indigenous peoples to be recognized and celebrated. Speaking to water in the diverse indigenous languages of Guam and Micronesia is particularly significant.

Storytelling, oral histories and cultural traditions throughout Pacific Islands societies are important and highly respected forms of knowledge. Such knowledge is passed down through families, clans and communities over generations and/or reiterated in a more contemporary context through narratives, poetry, performance and other creative forms. Storytelling is therefore a part of Pacific Islander identity and is a lived experience. Through Kuentusi I Hanom, participating Chamorros and Micronesians share their cultural knowledge in relation to the physical, spiritual, creative, economic and political aspects of water in video and audio recordings co-curated with Humanities Guåhan.

This project provides an invaluable opportunity to engage with Chamorros and Micronesians about the power of water in their histories, arts and cultures, and to preserve their water stories as an important part of their heritage and identity. Click on ► play button to link to our YouTube Channel to view each video in its entirety.

Brian Muna,
Brian Muna Films
Edgar Flores and John Leon Guerrero,
Edgar Flores Photo/Video

Mary Camacho, Mylo Design

A special thank you goes to Dr. Larry and Cheryl Cunningham and Ward Kranz for sharing the film of the construction and launch of Lien Polowat. UMI Studios Japan was kind enough to allow Humanities Guåhan to use clips of the film for the project video of the late Manny Sikau. We are very grateful.

Photograph by Johnathan Barber
                                                                                                photo by Johnathan Barber