Family Object

Originally, my dad came from a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean called Guam. It is the largest island in the Mariana Islands chain. Before him, my grandfather came from the Philippines where my great-grandfather was a Filipino man and my great-grandmother was a Chinese woman.

 The artifact that represents my family’s history is called a pugua knife. Pugua is a beetlenut that grows all over Guam.  The Chamorro people chew it like Americans chew gum. The knife is used to crack the shell and then peel away the layers to get to the heart of the nut. This particular knife was given to my dad when we were in Guam this past August by a cousin of his. My dad and grandfather had red tongues for a month from all of the pugua they ate.

The reason this is a significant part of my family’s history is because in Guam eating is a part of every event whether it is a funeral, wedding or birthday. The pugua is a way to stave off your hunger until the food was ready to be served.

To Learn More About Pugua!


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