From May 22nd – June 4th 2016, Guahan hosted the Festival of Pacific Arts which is a celebration of Oceanic culture that happen every four years. About 24 Oceanic nations participated in sharing their indigenous culture through performance arts, seafaring, visual arts, literary arts, and so much more, including Fashion. Tao Pacific Designs participated in the festival’s Fashion Shows with contemporary designs that aspires to share stories from the Mariana Islands through textile patterns. Joseph Certeza is the artist behind these patterns, and through the collaboration of local seamstress and models we were able to bring 9 looks to life in time to the last Fashion Show.
Tao Pacific Designs has collaborated with our Ylang Ylang pattern in late 2016 with ChamGlam to create this amazing all natural solid perfume made with local Ylang Ylang flowers. Ursula Herrera is chammorita behind this local beauty product made on Guahan, along with other products like ahgao, dudus, and Hibiskiss’d.
What is special about this relationship created is that all proceeds given to Tao Pacific Designs will be donated to local non-profit Haya Foundation. Haya Foundation pursues to support the well-being of the community by preserving and perpetuating the indigenous art of healing through young aspiring healers who are being mentored our island’s local healers. Tao Pacific Design’s artist is the grandson of Josefa ‘Tan Pai’ Cruz Certeza, who passed away on March 5, 2017 at the age of 100. Tan Pai was known as a local healer, or known as Suruhana/Yo’amte/Makahna, who used local herbal medicines and massage to cure ailments and sickness. For our artist, collaborating with ChamGlam was his form of how he can continue to honor her life’s work and indigenous art of healing.
March on Guahan is known to be Chamorro Month. Every year around this month, the island gets into festivities celebrating the indigenous culture. Department of Education gets into festivities asking their Chamorro teachers to produce events to feature the students and perpetuate the Chamorro culture.
Chamorro is known name referred to the indigenous people within the Mariana Island archipelago. Chamorro was given to the indigenous community by the Spanish during their rule from mid 1500s’ – 1898.
Tao Pacific Designs was able to hit the runway with the ask from public school Chamorro teachers and close friends of ours. We were given the opportunity to work with Sheeka Tareyama, a local seamstress, who produced the young women’s outfits. Photo credit goes to aspiring photographer Nathan Topasna.
Si yu’us ma’ase to our fafanaguen chamoru: Eva Aguon Cruz, Jamielyn Mantanona, and Fu’una Sanz for allowing us to be a part of this year’s Modan Chamoru 2017
This show we featured our:
Paluma pattern (pink) – Paluma are the masters of flight in the sky. The known transporters of seeds, spreading meidicinial herbs from one island to the next. Seeds can are also stories and experiences that travel from one island to another. Each of us are like the Paluma sharing our stories and planting seeds in wherever we go and travel to. Paluma is the Spanish influenced Chamorro word for bird.
Dulili pattern (maroon) – Inspired by foot prints of the Dulili (Lesser Golden-Plover) on the dark brown sands on Talofofo Bay. It remind us of the steps we take to get to where we want to be and once we are there, we take flight. Life is good. Then again, life will bring us down to rest, reflect, and prepare ourselves to fly again. Dulili is an indigenous word specifically for the Lesser Golden-Plover.
Latte’ pattern (blue) – This pattern honors those who are foundations for many which in circle contribute the good of the whole. Inspired by a great testament of our own Myracle Mugol, who has helped many non-profit and community groups to succeed in providing social support and creative appreciation within our community. This really honors the all-around amazing organizers who really do and aspire to do genuine work for our island community. Latte’ refers to the stone foundation that supported house and is known to be near burial grounds. Latte’ is the combination of the Tasa (top piece) and Haligi (bottom piece).