– ART PRINT BY DAWN LEE REYES
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Our Beliefs is a painting about two main Chamorro cultural beliefs which are ancestral veneration and the concept of Inafa’maolek”. Ancient Chamorro people practiced ancestral veneration. This is the practice of respectful treatment of relatives who have died in hopes that they may protect you and your family or bring you good fortune. Ancestral skulls were kept in each Chamorro family’s home and guarded as sacred objects, not to be touched by outsiders. The skulls were spoken to in soft and reverent tones. They were offered food and drink before every meal and regularly thanked for bringing good fortune and prosperity to the clan and home. Inafa’maolek or the maintaining of harmonious relationships with relatives and neighboring clans, teaches that good fortune is built through cooperation. This belief extends to the world of spirits as well. Ancient Chamorro people believed that their lives would be best lived through cooperation and respectful relationships with their deceased ancestors.