Monday, November 26, 2007

Hafa adai, everyone!

Hafa adai! Welcome to my blog and my first post. Being an avid beachcomber and general nature lover, I thought it would be nice to be able to share some of the things I see and discover in the wonderful islands of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

I have lived on Saipan for 5 years now and there are still many things to do, see, experience and learn even though the island is just 20 km (12.5 mi) long and 9 km (5.5 mi) wide. Saipan is all about the things that enjoy so I hope I am able to share with you some interesting anecdotes on my interest in nature, history, health, or really just about anything and everything.

Blogging has become a favorite past time here on Saipan. I will mostly keep my blogging anonymous since I like my privacy very much. Please do the same for me and respect my privacy. I hope that this is something that I will find fun to do and fun for you to share in as well since I feel like there are somethings that I see or do that others may appreciate too.
So, Here we go. I'll try to make this entertaining. Thank you for allowing me to share!
One of my hobbies:
The ancient people of the Mariana Islands had an affinity for the Spondylus, or spiny oyster. The Chamorros made coin like beads with a hole (mainly in the middle) that they bound together and used as ornamentation. Some people believe they were also used for monetary purpose as salape' (money).
After seeing only a few artisans here on Saipan fashioning pendants and other ornaments made out of Spondylus and other natural materials, I decided to give it a try myself. Future posts will showcase the learning process that I go through in developing my new hobby, but ultimately, I hope that this inspires others to reclaim the lost arts of the past and so that knowledge of the ancient Chamorros is appreciated and not forgotten. I invite other artisans to share ideas and techniques within these blogs as well so that interest in the ancient arts grow and continue to be refined.
This is a picture of the first three Spondylus salape' pendants that I cut, polished and bound. Although you cannot see it in this picture, the necklaces are bound by a simple loop and small salape' toggles. I used hemp-like beading cord that are made of cotton. Finishing the first three gave me a lot of satisfaction since it was accomplished all through trial and error. I hope you like them too.

5 comments:

Bev said...

beautiful works of art=) Happy blogging!

Bob Abela said...

Great start my friend!

The Beachcomber said...

Thanks Bev! Hey, I need a tutorial on this thing soon!

Thanks Bob! I can’t wait for your next post!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Hmmmmm...I wonder who this is?

not really.

cool blog.

The Beachcomber said...

Hi, Angelo! Thanks for the compliment. Good job on this year's recycled Christmas trees. The kids did a good job.