Hinasson Håya: Lukao Fuha, Performativity, and the Indigenous Mind


This essay explores the process behind the Matao cultural resurgence project Lukao Fuha via a very particular framework as it was originally written for course credit for Politics of Memory in the Performance Studies Department at Tisch School of the Arts in the Spring Semester of 2015.


While a student in the Performance Studies Department, I had to fight against the department's notion that Indigenous Studies is not Performance Studies, despite Performance Studies being inter-disciplinary by their own definition.


If I were to re-approach this topic now, I would frame the content very differently by putting our cultural resurgence work into conversation with indigenous thinkers and makers rather than trying to defend an indigenous worldview or make our work awkwardly conversation with the western scholars considered to be in the cannon of Performance Studies. Nonetheless believe it to be a good document of a period of very early initial research into Matao/CHamoru/Taotao Håya worldview. Hinasson Håya is a calque (a phrase borrowed from another language and translated literally word-for-word) that is informed by my relationship to Squi qui of the Schwdab/Swinomish peoples. My hope is that further research into Matao worldview will open up culturally-specific framings and terms that generate Matao creative potential as well as culturally-specific ways to be in inter-indigenous relationships that generate inter-indigenous knowings.


I would love to hear from CHamoru/Matao people about your thoughts on this writing! Please please Email me, DM me, Facebook or if you know me personally give me a call!


Migai Ma'åse to all of the brilliant minds & generous spirits who work on this effort to bring ceremony back into the center of our lives as CHamoru/Matao people. Hu guaiya hamyo'!


Lukao Fuha - an Inter-National Reclamation of New Year Ceremony


In 2014, the Taotao Håya Chamoru people celebrated their New Year’s ceremony for the first time in nearly four hundred years. Lukao Fuha literally translates as a procession to Fuha.  Lasso’ Fuha is considered the birthplace of the Chamoru people, where Fo’na our creator goddess threw her body into the earth and became a giant rock from which she created the first two humans.



In 2014, over 150 people journeyed down to Lasso Fuha, while Taotao Håya Chamoru in Duwamish Territory created an altar to represent Lasso’ Fuha at the Daybreak Star, a Native American cultural center.



In 2015, Taotao Håya organized the second annual celebration in Guåhan, Hawai’i, Duwamish Land (Seattle), and Lenapehoking (New York City), and in each place the people performed ceremony informed by personal and collective intuitive knowing.


The re-birth of this Taotao Håya Chamoru ceremonial practice aligns with a global awakening of hinasson håya, the indigenous mind. The root word of hinasso, hasso a verb means to think, imagine, and remember. According to the Chamoru worldview, all moments in time occur in the present at the same time. Thus, to remember something is the same as to think it and imagine it. This movement through and between temporalities is perhaps why my ancestors are said to be able to create fireworks with just their words. While articulated in the language of the Chamorro, hinasson håya refers to a mind which exists before time, an innate intuitive form of knowing which exists within all beings. While at times hinasson håya may refer specifically to a Chamoru epistemology, such a use of the term would solely suggest the possible linkages between Chamoru epistemology and the indigenous mind in general.

I Tinituhon - Mural by Joseph Certeza/Our Islands Are Sacred in Humatak Village, Guåhan

Memory studies and western epistemologies generally tend to rely on borders between moments in time which insists ancestral knowing works through transmission to the next generation. In populations who have survived traumatic events, the next generation is said to recall these memories through traumatized generation’s performance of remembering. In indigenous ways of knowing, ancestral knowledge lives inside the universe and relies on connection to be activated. This is also the case for our concept of inafa’maolek, mutual harmony, interconnectedness, all life is sacred, which requires our individual actions work to bring balance to our environments, of which all beings are apart of . Extending this concept to memory, we begin to understand how inherited traumatic memories require healing. Further, memories such as wisdom or knowledge about particular traditions could be activated to provide solutions for contemporary issues. The convergence between memory studies and hinasson håya may not be such an odd pair. I would suggest that we all “have come to think that to survive in vulnerable times we need to develop mobile and connective intellectual structures that will evolve and revitalize themselves.” (Hirsch 333). Vulnerability has become the hallmark of this generation now pressed to find timely solutions to climate change, chemical and nuclear proliferation, and environmental destruction.  We need so badly to develop intellectual structures for thinking peace into existence now, as much as we need to think peaceful futures. Chamoru’s have developed these structures within our artistic traditions, utilizing the powers of creation to breathe life into our circular concepts of memory. Lukao Fuha is but one example. Yet, it is an interesting example because it is a recreation of a memory which the generation before does not necessarily have. In fact, nobody in the generation directly preceding mine would have never had a memory of Lukao Fuha, though there are a couple of families who remember something like it. Yet, Lukao Fuha also promises a pathway to the future intertwining with memories of the past. In this paper, I will discuss the convergence between performance studies, memory studies, as Taotao Håya worldview as the apply to the revitalization of Lukao Fuha. I will devise, what I hope will be a useful and generative theory to produce inafa’maolek futures circuited by our pasts and presents. Further, I will argue that the performance of Lukao Fuha creates a structure for a way of remembering, imagining, and thinking which evolves and revitalizes itself.




Vulnerably (not) Knowing 

Lukao Fuha was first conceived as way of revitalizing sacred relationships with the earth. Community organizers wanted to create a place to practice Chamorro culture and spirituality. Nobody had never attended a Lukao Fuha, and very few people had ever attended a Chamorro ceremony, in general before. Faced with questions about how to precede people developed several different strategies to address this historical amnesia. One organizer, Brandon Lee Cruz, the lead research for Hinasso, a loose organization founded to perpetuate pre-colonial words and ideas, turned to the archive to find ways to practice the Lukao within a historical context. According to his own archival research, historical accounts suggest that Chamorros from all islands in the Chamorro island chain would sail into Fuha bay to mark the new year ceremony. Last year for example, Brandon reached out to local seafaring organizations to ensure that a canoe would sail into Fouha Bay.


Dulali sailing into Fuha Bay - Lukao Fuha 2015 Guåhan

Brandon and others have asked questions about how to practice a ceremony without a guide or an elder teaching, and without instructions from the archive. The not knowing has for some been thought of as a form of vulnerability which puts us at risk of doing it wrong. For many of our direct ancestors, our parents and grandparents, the concept of doing things as our ancient ancestors have done is remote. For example, my Auntie Dell who recently turned ninety, explained to me recently that she doesn’t really know ancient words and that to her it’s almost like a whole other language. This not knowing has been a form of trauma which many people struggle to overcome. Yet, the younger generation, bound by the value of inafa’maolek, must seek ways to be in balance with our mañaina our elders. Brandon archival practice could be performing a type of revitalizing a repertoire from deep within the ancestral memory, which precedes the generation before. Thus, the question remains, how do we remember responsibly? What is our responsibility in our remembrance of memories forgotten by the generations before?



For many, ‘not knowing’ is the inherited memory of our ancient practices, and despite present research efforts to understand and know ancient practices, questions emerge regarding contemporary practice of ancient religion and tradition. While for others the practice of Lukao Fuha has sparked interest and concern about why it wasn’t taught in school asking fellow group members to fill them in. For example, this past year an older Chamorro commented on Facebook post inviting people to participate saying “Who started this? and what the FUCK is Lukao Fuha??” In someways, this could be understood as a form of “self-blinding of the general population— ‘percepticide,’” in which the general population chooses to remain ignorant to the legacy of their ancestors, and therefore kills them off (Taylor 123). This particular elder, blinds himself to the possibility of creativity within our cultural framework, and therefore perpetuates a form of memory stuck in past-present-tense temporality. The elders post on Facebook demonstrates the truth of the triple meaing of hasso within hinasson håya; that is, the present lack of Lukao Fuha’s presence in his world, neither remembers it, nor does it imagine Lukao Fuha as coexistent with a Taotao Håya Chamoru future. This inherited not knowing could also be considered in the same matrix as performativity, such that “discourse and institutional power affect us, constraining and moving us in relation to what we come to call our “own” action” (Butler 8). The institutional power in this context would be efforts by the U.S. Naval Administration to criminalize cultural practices and speaking our language. The reproduction of these policies continues through the regulation of which cultural practices particularly ones which descend from cultural and historical memory. Lukao Fuha produces a theory and practice of memory which claims our ‘own action’ outside of the discourse and institutional power, which so often defines many of our traditions as existing solely in the past.


Photo by Instagram user @frankrober2: Lukao Fuha. I'm really happy I did this. I feel more connected with my culture spiritually and it was a great experience. I will definitely go again next year. Learning my heritage by practicing our native rituals and ceremonies. BIBA taotao håya! #LukaoFuha #OurIslandsAreSacred #TaotaoHåya #Manggåfa #Manhita #Chamorro #culture

The particular example above also highlights the connection to postmemory: “‘Postmemory’ describes the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before — to experiences they ‘remember’ only by means of the stories, images, and behaviors among which they grew up.” (Hirsch 5). Our elder who commented above only remembers through the experience of not remembering Lukao Fuha as a Taotao Håya Chamoru tradition. In this case, postmemory functions not only as a theory of trauma, but as a theory of memory itself. The trauma, like the ancestors has been removed, but the effect lives on.  And thus, perhaps the trauma of forgetting co-exists, and as such denies the possibility of culture being a contemporarily re-presented and remembered. Bridging hinasson håya and postmemory elucidates how the notion of postmemory could work beyond a theory of the generation directly after a traumatic event, because the erasure of ancient practices began many many years ago. The organizers of Lukao Fuha and the hundreds of people who participate turn to hinasson håya as the medicine for ‘not knowing’ and refuse “[t]o grow up with overwhelming inherited memories, to be dominated by narratives that preceded one’s birth or one’s consciousness, is to risk having one’s own life stories displaced, even evacuated, by our ancestors” (Hirsch 5).  Thus, Lukao Fuha as a memory practice seeks balance with the ancestral knowledges from beyond the generation before ours. Yet, at the same time, the radical refusal refuses to displace ancestors from memory, nor does the refusal necessarily draw boundaries in time between people who know and people who don’t. Rather, Lukao Fuha functions as a land-based methodology to tap into knowledges that live inside the land. For some unfamiliar with the history or the idea of the contemporary revival of the tradition, the contemporary practice might seem threatening to personal knowledge about the definitions of Chamorro cultural practices. Many consider the revitalization of ancient traditions and languages to be dangerous as they make our older generation and contemporary cultural practitioners vulnerable to being deemed irrelevant or unknowledgeable. Yet, the organizers of Lukao Fuha expliclty name the event a revitalization of a traditional practice, and thus approach the vulnerability of not knowing in the context of “vulnerability as a radical openness toward surprising possibilities” and then, “we might be able to engage it more creatively—as a space to work from and not only as some- thing to be overcome” (Hirsch 334). Lukao Fuha should not be framed as way to fix a present-day lack, nor should it be seen as a tool to educate the not knowing. Understanding hinasson håya as the foundation for Lukao Fuha opens up the possibilities for creating memory practices which seek to place the land as the foundation of memory. By placing relationship to the land as central we open up the possibility of unlocking every body’s relationship to the earth and therefore everybody’s hinasson håya, the indigenous mind, and the memories, thoughts, and imaginings of the land.


Community rounding the corner to Lasso Fuha - Lukao Fuha 2014

Memory Acts


Performing hinasson håya, following Butler, means the recitation and reiteration of these memories themselves. For communities and people who have been disconnected from hinasson håya, one might “understand that the names we are called are just important to performativity as the names we call ourselves, we have to identify the conventions that operate in a broad array of gender-assigning strategies” or in this case identity-assigning strategies, “Then we can see how the speech act affects and animates us in an embodied way – indeed, the field of susceptibility and affect is already a matter of a corporeal registration of some kind” (Butler 8). Thus, speech acts themselves function as the defining principles of cultures. Cultures and even people who define themselves as disconnected will likely remain so. Speech acts define and animate the ways in which people embody culture. Thus, naming Lukao Fuha as a traditional Chamoru practice and even an ancient Chamoru practice carries the potential to re-embody the memories of our ancestors, and claiming the contemporaneity of the ceremony connects across time and activates hinasson håya. The revitalization of the ceremony is a memory practice wherein the legacy of our ancient ancestors can be thought, remembered, and imagined. Practicing Lukao Fuha asserts the presence and perpetuity of hinasson håya, and also recites and re-iterates the earth as a force structuring our memories.


Sainan Bernard waits to welcome Lukao Fuha: Gupot Duwamish participants with traditional chant

There are aspects of the ceremony which are not quite speech. The gestures of prayer, the canoe sailing in, the burning of incense and flowers. These practices I call memory acts, embodied practices which activate hinasson håya, the indigenous mind. In Chamoru, hinasson håya can be translated as indigenous mind, but also as the memories of the land.  Lasso’ Fuha, the rock, carries a memory the people activate through memory acts and speech acts. As Butler suggests, “In the same way that we claim that the speech act depends upon its social conditions and conventions, we can also say that the performance of gender” or the performance of the indigenous mind “more generally depends upon its infrastructural and social conditions of support” (Butler 9). Through the theory of performativity we can begin to understand just how the land itself structures our speech acts. Yet, it can not be the land alone, for there are generations of Chamoru who lived near Lasso Fuha before the present generation. And, in fact those generations lived nearer in time to the pre-colonial traditions. The memory act— the enactment of— Lukao Fuha demonstrates how “the body is less an entity than a relation, and it cannot be fully dissociated from the infrastructural and environmental conditions of its living” (Butler 8). Yet again, the body alone does not guarantee the resurgence of the memory, or even a relationality with the environment which enables memory acts. The memory acts themselves re-activate the relation to the earth, and therefore re-awaken the relation to the earth as the infrastructure of support. In the Chamoru worldview, everybody is responsible for maintaining balance with every body, whether it be a body of water, body of a canoe, or body of our primordial ancestor Fo’na. Thus, Lukao Fuha functions as a way to remember the body or rather to remain in connection with the environment which supports all bodies, the place the bodies of our ancestors have become. These memory acts, whether enacted contemporarily or in the ‘past’ structure the relations to the earth themselves and activate hinasson håya.


Artwork by Our Islands Are Sacred artist Joseph Certeza

The memory acts do not function solely as the revitalization of ancient ceremonies. According to Bill Lujan, people would also make the pilgrimage to Umatac to pay homage to San Dionicio they would stop at Lasso Fuha. These pilgrimages work as memory acts carrying their own set of genealogical gestures passed down to the families which carry those histories. However, as information recorded in the archive these memory acts also become speech acts as they become part of the discourse which reproduces Lukao Fuha as a contemporary memory act. The memory acts and the speech acts work together to structure an embodiment of the earth with memory or forgetting dependent on how other beings structure their relationship to the earth itself. Such is displayed by the quote from the elder above who believes Lukao Fuha was ‘started’ by an individual or group of people, rather than be a memory practice of continuity. The families whom continue to make pilgrammages to Lasso Fuha provide an architectural support that must “be in place for each of us to exercise a certain freedom of movement” back to the place of our creation, despite criticism circulating within our community (Butler 9). As a memory act, Lukao Fuha structures the memory of the Taotao Håya Chamoru and defines a particular ritual as an imagined and remembered cultural practice. Yet, questions still arise about the nature of introducing a cultural practice, even as the introduction might be a re-introduction and a re-memory. Such questions suggest further investigation into the meaning of culture and the meaning of ritual within the Taotao Håya Chamoru culture. How does a young generation of Chamoru re-creating a traditional ceremony enact the ceremony itself? The memory practices associated with Lukao Fuha can yet again be described as a form of postmemory such that, “[p]ostmemory’s connection to the past is thus actually mediated not by recall but by imaginative investment, projection, and creation” (Hirsch 5). In this sense, the memory acts such as the gestures involved in the ritual practices generate from a kind of imaginative and creative thinking. For example, the first year the Taotao Håya celebrated Lukao Fuha, the procession began at a mural local community organization Our Islands Are Sacred painted in the village of Humatak honoring the creation story. While some of the gestures and forms of embodiments do come from ancestral knowledge passed on through the oral tradition, the order and exact words spoken more than likely differ from the initial ritual itself. The revitalization of Lukao Fuha comes from the interactions between archival research and the oral tradition, none of which, as Schechner suggests would recreate the ceremony exactly as it was practiced.


For Taotao Håya Chamoru people who live outside the Chamoru archipelago, performing Lukao Fuha, and even further hinasson håya, means inventing the forms of the expression of cultural practices. Following Butler, the structures of support are not the same. For Taotao Håya Chamoru in the diaspora, we move over earth and our ancestors bones do not lay beneath us. And therefore our relationship to the land is different. Lukao Fuha observes the Chamoru Lunar Calendar which marks the New Year as the first new moon in February. This past year, organizers of Lukao Fuha debated about changing the name of Lukao Fuha for a couple of reasons. One, Lukao has negative connotations in that some interpret the word to depict a procession which releases negative energies and pains. And others suggested we change the word before ‘Fuha’ to be something that signified ceremony or gathering so as to include the Taotao Håya Chamoru who would not be proceeding to Fuha herself, but rather plan ceremonies and build altars to Fuha. Diaspora Chamoru suggested that they plan a procession of some kind as part of the ceremony, but people feared the severe cold weather particularly in Lenapehoking would dissuade people from participating. Thus, one could theorize the memory acts involved in Lukao Fuha as theorizing memory “as a certain kind of dependency on infrastructure, understood complexly as environment, social relations, and networks of support and sustenance the human itself proves to not to be divided from the animal or from the technical world” and thus the authenticity debate, or rather remaining true to the meaning of words, Taotao Håya see how “we foreground the ways in which we are vulnerable to decimated or disappearing infrastructures, economic supports and predictable and well- compensated labor” (Butler 11). While labor, might not be central to the analysis here, the disappearance of Guåhan as an economic support has led to the massive outward migration of the island. As recorded by I Håle’ Taotao Håya Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project, over sixty five percent of Taotao Håya live outside of their ancestral homeland. Thus, the memory act of Lukao Fuha and Lukao Fuha as a memory practice not only revitalizes a ritual but also re-awakens Taotao Håya relationship to the land, hinasson håya, through revealing material dependence on our lands, but also of the conditions which define our relationship to the land. Also, Lukao Fuha as a memory practice of a particular event but also as a memory act of hinasson håya provides a methodology for connecting with the land, even as it such land might not be ancestral, and thus provides insight into how to awaken the indigenous mind: enacting land-based rituals.



Pi`i (Hawai'i), Uncle Reggie and Tecumseh (Matinnecock, Turkey Clan)[/caption]

The diaspora also contends with other issues regarding following the tenets of hinasson håya. One of the crucial values, inafa’maolek, acknowledges the responsibility each person has to maintain balance with every other relation. As such, people are responsible for acknowledging the ancestors and people of a particular land and abide by the specific protocols put forth by those families. The story of Lasso’ Fuha tells the Taotao Håya Chamoru that this is the birthplace and therefore the place of existence for them. Thus, in other lands the indigenous people must have similar stories. And, while mainstream American society, even those who identify in the more liberal or even radical left, tend to perpetuate the culture of non-recognition. Rather than view the dispersal of Taotao Håya Chamoru from their homeland in Butler’s term of a vulnerability of disappearing infrastructures, Lukao Fuha ceremonies in the diaspora provides an opportunity to perpetuate hinasson håya within new contemporary contexts.


People gather around the community altar at Lukao Fuha 2015

In Lenapehoking, thirteen people attended the ceremony, one for every moon in the Chamoru calendar. Of the thirteen, only three were Chamoru. The cosmopolitan nature of New York ensured the presence of a worldly crowd, while also accounting for the small percentage of Chamoru attendants. Yet, the ceremony generated an inter-tribal collaboration between the Mattinecock, the Chamoru, the Korean, Hawaiian, and other ancestries present. During the ceremony, each person attending had an opportunity to represent their genealogy by presenting an offering to Fuha, the physical place but also acknowledging that across cultures many consider the earth to be the mother of all creation.  The recognition of a shared mother, the earth, even as naming her ‘her’ and ‘mother’ might not completely align with all spiritual and religious practices, recognized a shared bond which extends beyond the circle. In this way, Lukao Fuha: Gupot Lenapehoking, not only brought the people home to Lukao Fuha, Lukao Fuha also brought Fuha home, to the place the people were standing. Even outside of Guåhan, Lukao Fuha works as a “means to account for the power structures animating forgetting, oblivion, and erasure and thus to engage in acts of repair and redress. It promised to propose forms of justice outside of the hegemonic structures of the strictly juridical,” by re-iterating and re-citing the land as a source of memory; Lukao Fuha as a memory act outside of the context of Guåhan can even be a form of “advocacy and activism on behalf of individuals and groups whose lives and whose stories have not yet been thought” by the American mainstream (Hirsch 16). Taking Hirsch’s analysis further, my analysis not only includes the subjectivity of the earth, it also centralizes the earth as the source of knowledge. Thus, it is not that indigenous peoples, have not yet been though, but rather that (mainstream) peoples have not yet thought indigenously. Thinking indigenously is hinasson håya. Hinasson håya proposes a way of thinking and being in the world which does not require an analysis or understanding of vulnerability that empowers politics of justice. Butler argues vulnerability is an “invariable feature of social relations – but this very vulnerability indicates a broader condition of dependency and interdependency which changes the dominant ontological understanding of the embodied subject” (Butler 12). Rather than placing vulnerability as the central condition conditioning ontologies of the subject, hinasson håya places the land. Such an understanding removes harm or the removal of harm as the driving force of politics, and instead places a politics of care and respect. Inafa’maolek, interconnectedness all life is sacred, as a fundamental value of hinasson håya does not say life is sacred because it is vulnerable, but that life is sacred because it is. This shows how hinasson håya operates pre-discursively and can be seen as an innate or natural structure of memory, like the natural structure of the brain or the body, or the root systems of trees. Lukao Fuha activates hinasson håya by enacting gestures of memory acts and calling for speech acts which cite the earth and genealogy as the source of life, and in this citation re-iterates our relationship to the earth. Lukao Fuha as a memory act activates relationship to the earth, not as a function of vulnerability, but as a site of possibility in which the recognition of interconnection can deepen already living connections.


Where does technology come from?

Since the inception of Lukao Fuha, the organizers utilized the internet and other digital mediums to organize. Utilizing powerpoint presentation, memes, instagram photos, hashtags, Facebook posts, groups, and event pages and more. This year organizers used videoconferencing to discuss the use of ceremonial protocols and shared strategies and medicines of each land as a way to strengthen the network. While these forms of communications may be seemingly new, hinasson håya forces a reconceptualization of newness. The word hasso refers to the unity of all times such that all time is ubiquitous with itself. Hoskins argues that “[t]he increasingly digital networking of memory not only functions in a continuous present” in the same way that hasso would force a re-thinking of what memory studies means by memory, and he continues “but is also a distinctive shaper of a new mediatized age of memory” (Hoskins 96).  Hinasson håya could sharpen this analysis by looking at the ways in which the earth has and continues to function as a media of memory. Lasso Fuha would be the clearest example from this essay, but one could also draw from the many technologies indigenous peoples employ in daily life made from earthly materials. The most obvious example in Lenapehoking would be the Two Row Wampum agreement, the original treaty made between the first settlers of this land and the indigenous peoples which stipulated that the settlers would live in peace and friendship with the indigenous peoples as long as the rivers run downhill, the grass is green, and the sun rises in the east. The treaty was recorded by the Lenape in the form of a belt made from the shell of the Wampum. Clearly, the settlers of Lenapehoking have not followed the terms to the treaty. In this way, we see how the structure of memory does not work when one group of people do not rely on the medium as a source of knowledge.


Maria Barcinas displays basket for gifts she wove in anticipation for Lukao Fuha - Gupot Hawai'i From left to right: Brandon Lee Cruz - Guåhan - Roldy Aguero Ablao - Duwamish Territory, Joseph Certeza - Guåhan, Maria Barcinas - Hawai'i, dåkot-ta alcantara-camacho - Lenapehoking

Because the concept of hasso brings all moments in time as a continuous moment, the concept of a new media might be lost in hinasson håya. The media itself is made of the earth, and therefore is not new. The earth still functions as the media of the memory, even if the media has been re-materialized. Here, again we see the ways in which speech re-materializes what is, the earth, into something else i.e. technology, infrastructure, dependency. And, in this way we can see how “[m]emory is readily and dynamically configured through our digital,” and earth-based “practices and the connectivity of digital” and earth-based networks (Hoskins 96). By re-materializing technology as the material it is ‘earth’ we find a very clear way to demonstrate the innateness of hinasson håya. Lukao Fuha as a practice reconnects people to hinasson håya using the media of digital technology, yet the people were already connected to Lasso Fuha genealogically. The desire to connect to Lukao Fuha presented itself before digital technology entered into the conversation, and while increasing the possibility of participation by a wider range of people, the structure of technology did not shape the structure of the memory practice. The memory act was enhanced by the use of technology but also the use of the structure of technology was determined by the memory act itself. The organizers connected via skype in order to share prayers and medicines, and in this very ancient way of sharing perpetuated hinasson håya.



Maria Barcinas smiles at the end of a video-ceremony Roldy Aguero Ablao - Duwamish Territory, Joseph Certeza - Guåhan, Maria Barcinas - Hawai'i, dåkot-ta alcantara-camacho - Lenapehoking

Hinasson Håya of the Future— 

Lukao Fuha demonstrates the possibility for hinasson håya to structure a memory practice, and how the practice of memory can generate memory acts. By tapping into hinasson håya, several people from across the world interacted with archival materials and stories passed down through the oral tradition to enhance contemporary expression of Taotao Håya Chamoru culture, and in doing so developed strategies for addressing present-day colonialism, economic displacement, and issues of cultural authenticity and inter-generational conflicts. Whether confronting issues on an inter- or intra-cultural level, the practice of Lukao Fuha has created space for prayer, release, and sharing the fundamental truth of our existence, that we are all connected. The practice of Lukao Fuha extends beyond boundaries of tradition, contemporaneity, and even memory, by drawing no distinction between the practices of ancestors and the practices of living people today, while at the same time leaving room for the differences to breathe and be. In this space of difference, one can find the possibility for new beginnings, endings, and futures within the circularity of Taotao Håya Chamoru concepts of time. And from these spaces of newness one can also see how, what are often called the material conditions of the present day, the existence of the U.S. Nation-State, is perpetuated by the traumatized, traumatic, and traumatizing remembrance, and re-citation of the United States as such. Thus, land-based memory acts open up the possibility to stand in relationship to the earth beneath our feet as much as to the people whose ancestors live below, above, in front, and behind us. By connecting to the land, one can begin to awaken the indigenous mind and deepen connections already present, just waiting to be acknowledged, thought, remembered, and even more hopefully imagined. Thus, we see how memory acts activating hinasson håya function within and reproduce a structure of memory acts and memory acting to remember, reconnect, and re-imagine connection to the earth, and therefore the indigenous mind. May our memory acts be memory acting to awaken our indigenous minds, hinasson håya.


Lukao Fuha Gupot Guåhan 2015

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