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Open Access Publications from the University of California

“I Sengsong San Diego”: The Chamoru Cultural Festival and the Formation of a Chamoru Diasporic Community


This essay addresses contemporary migrations of Chamorus tied to the history of US military presence in Micronesia and the ways Indigenous culture and identity are negotiated through the Chamorro Cultural Festival (CCF) that has been held annually in San Diego, California since 2009. The analysis explores how diasporic Chamorus maintain close transpacific connections to the Mariana Islands while also establishing Chamoru communities abroad through the CCF. The festival simultaneously enacts Chamoru identities based in both mobility and rootedness and is a large-scale expression of how Chamorus create and express collective identities.

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