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Title:"Proving Chamorro": Indigenous Narratives of Race, Identity, and Decolonization on Guam
Author(s):Monnig, Laurel Anne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Janet Dixon Keller
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Abstract:In the politicized world of sovereignty/decolonization movements on Guam, who is and who is not "Chamorro" is the source of consternation and debate among Chamorros, and between Chamorros and the colonizer, the United States. The concept of "who is Chamorro" is infused with a complex racial tapestry; one woven through three periods of colonization and corresponding racialization (Spain 1565-1898, Japan 1941-1944, US 1898-present). Historically, these processes have represented Chamorros in a specific way, as mestizo, whose cultural and linguistic lives have been extinguished, rendering them "inauthentically" indigenous. "Authenticity," premised on conceptions of mestizo (race), has become the conceptual lattice through which Chamorros must navigate concerns about land, language, citizenship, and the overarching one of decolonization. This anthropological and ethnographic dissertation argues that this layered history of colonization and racialization has stripped Chamorros of cultural "authenticity" and, indeed, political legitimacy, as viewed by the colonial metropole. In turn, Chamorros are then obligated to continually "prove" their authenticity as a cultural group to verify their right to self-determination, self-rule, and/or US citizenship. Chamorros do the proving through discursive and political identity strategies. In other words, they construct an "authentic" group identity through such symbolic locations as the Chamorro family, land, language, and their mestizo identities. Being "mestizu" Chamorro is the acknowledgement of a communal "racial" history, but it also is an assertion of a unified group identity and genuine indigeneity---one hopefully strong enough to combat the delegitimization of the colonizer's racial ideology.
Issue Date:2007
Description:458 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3301197
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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