August 9, 2016 / Kisha Borja-Quichocho
Like the tåsa and haligi of the ancient Chamoru latte stone,
so, too, does your body maintain the shape
of the healthy Chamoru woman.
With those full-figured hips,
through natural birth for generations,
and with those powerful arms,
reaching for the past, calling on our mañaina,
you have remained strong throughout the years,
continuously inspire me to live my culture
allowing me to grow into a young Chamoru woman myself.
Through you, I have witnessed the persistence
and endurance of my ancestors, who never failed in constructing a latte.
I gima` taotaomo`na, the house of the ancient people.
Hågu i acho` latte-ku. You are my latte stone.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke:
Kisha Borja-Quichocho embodies Chamoru strength and figuresque womanhood with the sensual shape of a latte stone passing lineage and power to the current holder in this beautifully structured and succinct poem "Nåna."
Kisha Borja-Quichocho is from the village of Mangilao on Guam. She is a Chamoru activist, writer, educator, critical thinker, and mother to Lina`la` (Chamoru for life). She enjoys writing, teaching, learning, and engaging in work that has meaning. She hopes to be fluent in Chamoru one day.