#7 A Tale of Two Lovers Tying Their Hair Together
     (Freycinet, 1819)

The nobles were strictly forbidden not only to ally themselves with the mangatchang girls, but even to take them as concubines. Still, instances of the breaking of that rule are cited. In such a case, though, the matua who was guilty took great pains to conceal himself from his own family, who, if they knew of the situation, would have inflicted capital punishment on him. In reality, the delinquent noble had no alternative, if he wished to avert pursuit, but to renounce his rank and class and to join another group, as an atchaot. It is interesting, incidentally, that the lowborn girl received no punishment at all. We were told that, after the arrival of the Spanish on Guam, a certain matua of the village of Gnaton fell in love with a young and pretty mangatchang girl and fled with her. He found no asylum among another native group, however, as he refused to part with her. Pursued by his relatives, the young lovers wandered for some time in the most inaccessible woods and rocky areas; but so precarious and wretched an existence reduced them to despair. Determined to put an end to it, they built a tomb of stones and placed in it the infant that was the sad fruit of their love. Then, lost and distracted, they climbed to the very summit of a high, steep-sided peak beside the sea. Binding themselves together by the hair, and clasping one another, they cast themselves from that peak into the waves below. The cape in question has since been named, by the Spanish, Cabo de los Amantes (Lovers’ Cape).


[#7] Freycinet, Louis-Claude de, trans. Glynn Barratt, [“A Tale of Two Lovers Tying their Hair Together”], An Account of the Corvette L’Uraine’s Sojourn at the Mariana Islands, 1819 (Saipan: N. M. I. Division of Historic Preservation and the RTF Micronesian Area Research Center University of Guam, 2003) pg. 126-127.

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