Chamorro Warriors and Godmothers Meet Uncle Sam: Gender, Loyalty and Resistance to US military Occupation in Postwar Guam
Tanji, M (2012) Chamorro Warriors and Godmothers Meet Uncle Sam: Gender, Loyalty and Resistance to US military Occupation in Postwar Guam. In: de Matos, Christine and Ward, Rowena, (eds.) Gender, Power and Military Occupation. Routledge, New York, pp. 98-117.
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The postwar military occupation of Guam is currently undergoing enhanced fortification. This ‘mega buildup’ associated with the expansion of existing US military bases and personnel includes the transfer of 8000 US Marines and their families from Okinawa in Japan. This military buildup is assumed to shift the US military’s significant presence and operability in the Pacific to a society where political opposition from the local residents is less likely to become a diplomatic problem. In this context, the amicability and loyalty to the United States of the indigenous Chamorro residents is an asset (Looking for friendly base’ 2004). Chamorro people are the descendents of the earliest residents of the Marianas and the island of Guahan (Guam in local language). Over the last 600 years, the Chamorros have experienced repeated colonization and military occupation by Spain, Japan and the United States. The legacies of each phase have influenced the next. Loyalty from the Chamorro people and support given to the US military is derived, above all, from their enduring sense of gratitude for liberation from brutal Japanese military occupation during World War II and a sense of obligation to repay ‘Uncle Sam’.
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