In recent years, an increasing number of scholarly works have been published by and about Chamorro women, but this women-centered scholarship, like Laura Torres Souder’s Daughters of the Island (1992) and Guampedia’s Famalao’an Guåhan (2019), focuses primarily on the lives of “women organizers” and “extraordinary women” in Guam history. The Chamorro women that Souder interviewed often recognized their mothers or grandmothers as essential to their development and empowerment, yet literature on “ordinary women” in Chamorro history has been scarce. If Chamorros are a matrilineal and matrifocal society, as prominent scholars claim, shouldn’t there be more scholarship on the matriarchs that have helped shape generations?
Through oral history interviews, I explore the life choices of three post-WWII Chamorro women to uncover the ways Chamorro women navigate their life choices, positioned at the intersections of Chamorro culture, Catholicism, and U.S. colonialism. I conclude this presentation with a discussion of the ways creative non-fiction short stories can bridge the gap between theory and practice, between academia and the island community.