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.