24 Apr 2018

Documentary supports Chamorro links to Taiwan

5:45 pm on 24 April 2018

Ancient Chamorros were maritime voyagers from the northern part of the Philippines and parts of Taiwan, according to a new documentary.

Chamorro canoe

Chamorro canoe Photo: Mark Rabago

Micronesian historian and Jesuit priest Francis X. Hezel made the documentary called 'Before We Began Counting Years,' which presented evidence and interviews that supported the theory that Chamorros originated from the Philippines and Taiwan.

The documentary focused on archaeological work and DNA.

Fr Hezel said Chamorros were the first open ocean voyagers.

They started earlier than the entire world, probably before Europeans hatched their ideas of open-ocean voyaging, he said.

The theory that Chamorros were migrants from Taiwan was supported through by the language of ancient Chamorros, Fr Hezel said.

That language was part of the Austronesian language family, or Malay-Polynesian, that included both Filipino and modern Chamorro languages, he said.