by Joan Awa
Chamorrita Swimwear Features Traditional Weaver, James Bamba Accessories In Photo Shoots
Accessories have always been a necessity to complete a beach ready look - from bangles, body chains, a cute floral headband to a sexy bead wraparound on the arm, these little details are what make the beach-goer look like the ultimate chamorrita walking around our sandy shores.
When we were taking our photos for our site, not only did we have to find the most bonita girls to rock our island-style suits but we also made sure the suit and accessories on the girls are the perfect pair. Local artisan, James Bamba’s creations came hand in hand when we were piecing the looks together for the shoots.
James Bamba, one of Guam’s most gifted traditional weavers has used his skill that was passed on to him by his aunt and uncle since 1995. He creates masterpieces using one of the island’s abundant natural resources, pandanus. A native plant to the island of Guam, pandanus is fibrous and strong, making it the ideal plant for weaving. Leaves from the akgak, have been used by Guam’s ancestors thousands of years ago to create baskets for food and storage, decorations for ceremonies and also body ornamentation like flowers, headbands and belts. James’ talent also extends to carving, recreating small-scaled replicas of traditional artifacts. His knowledge of the skills his ancestors possessed has moved him to educate the youth in preserving a trade that was once shared by many. His work and products are showcased and readily available for purchase at the Sågan Kotturan CHamoru Cultural Center in Tamuning. James continues to take effect online, using social media to reach out to his fellow Guamanians in gaining awareness of weaving. Full details of his journey and his work can be found on his site, www.ginen-guahan.com. For those who are interested in re-connecting with the arts of their cultural pasts, James is the ultimate choice to gain that connection. He will educate you, guide you and demonstrate the traditional art of weaving and what it means to be an artisan of the Chamoru culture.
Photo: Myong Hong Prodigy Studios with Carmela Tyquiengco and James Bamba's Guagua'
Photo: Myong Hong Prodigy Studios with Carmela on James Bamba's Guafak
Photo: Manny Rona with Alyssa Gumabon and one of James' bracelets
About Joan Awa
Joan Awa was raised on the beautiful island of Guåhan and has remained a resident since. With no thoughts of leaving, she continues to pursue her writing within the island. She currently writes for local publications such as Uno Magazine and is working on several literary works of her own. She is a huge fan of local artisans, businesses and their products, including Chamorrita Swimwear, which she loves to blog for!