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Dr. James Sellmann and Dr. Douglas Farrer Co-Author Paper on Chamorro Spiritual Resistance to Colonial Domination

04/04/14

Dr. James Sellmann and Dr. Douglas Farrer Co-Author Paper on Chamorro Spiritual Resistance to Colonial Domination

Dr. James D. Sellmann, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and Dr. Douglas S. Farrer, Associate Professor of Anthropology co-authored a paper entitled "Chants of Re-enchantment: Chamorro Spiritual Resistance to Colonial Domination," which was recently published in a special issue of the journal Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice

Dr. Farrer served as the editor of the special issue entitled "War Magic and Warrior Religion: Sorcery, Cognition, and Embodiment."

 
Below is the abstract of the paper:

The Chamorro people inhabit an archipelago known as the Mariana Islands located in the western Pacific Ocean. Seventeenth-century Chamorros took ancestral skulls into warfare against the Spanish in the period of the Spanish conquest. The possession of such skulls manifested profound symbolic power. In the aftermath of the war, the survivors converted to Catholicism, amalgamating their ancient religious practices with that faith. Resistance through the centuries against Spanish, Japanese, and American colonial power has been anchored in Chamorro cultural continuity, albeit in an ostensibly fragmented and augmented form. A site of strategic US military bases, Guam now anticipates further military build-up. War magic and warrior religion are lenses that enable the study of colonial domination where the battle lines fault across military, economic, and political frames toward cultural fronts.