fino' chamoru

Chamorro Cinderella Story

I just finished watching the new Cinderella movie. It wasn’t particularly good or interesting. I nobia-hu Si Isa ti ya-na, sa’ taya’ nuebu, kulang parehu yan i cartoon. I haga-hu Si Sumahi, ni’ gof kinenne’ ni’ todu kosas prinsesa, ti ya-na lokkue’, sa’ mata’pang, mas maolek para Guiya i cartoon.

Throughout the movie I couldn’t help but be reminded of the many Chamorro versions of the Cinderella story that I have heard over the years. Many legends or tales such as this made their way to Guam over the centuries and were shifted or altered in order to give them a more local flavor. In my favorite version for instance, the name of the protagonist is not Cinderella but Hitda. As glass slippers and princes were particularly foreign to Guam, the story of Hitda doesn’t include either. Hitda is treated like a slave by her step-mother and step-sister, but after finding a house with a magical fortune inside she is soon liberated. Her evil step-family doesn’t escape punishment however and roasted alive by boiling tar.

Here is one version of the story below, recorded in Chamorro:

Åpmam na tiempo, gi chago’ na lugat, mañåsaga’ un tåta, un nåna, yan dos na hoben na patgon palao’an. I unu gof bunita, i otro ti bunita. I bunita na’ån-ña Si Hitda, i otro na’ån-ña Si Mattide. Este i bunita na påtgon ti sen chume’lu yan i otro. I asagua-ña este i tatå-ña, ti nanå-ña i bunita na palao’an. Matai i nanå-ña i bunita. Umasagua i tatå-ña ta’lo. Este i bi’uda ni’ gaipatgon, ti bunita este na patgon. Matai i tata. I nana ha’ yan i dos patgon gagaige. I nana yan i ti bunita na påtgon ti ma guaiya este i bunita. I bunita ha na’gasgasgas i gima’ yan ha preprensa todu i magågu.

Pues kada puenge mata’chong Si Hitda gi kusina. Ha hahasso Si tatå-ña ni matai. Tåya’ nai magof gui’. Tåya’ nai guaha nuebu na chininå-ña. I bi’uda yan este i ti bunita na patgon-ña bula nuebu na chininan-ñiha. Sesso humånao i dos gumupot. Pa’go Si Hitda sumåsaga’ gi gima’ ya ha cho’cho’gue todu i che’cho’ siha. Guaha nai manana ha’ ti munhåyan ha cho’gue todu i che’cho’ siha. Yanggen esta oran chumocho, Si Hitda ha na’yan nengkåno’ gi lamasa. Ha agang i dos chumocho. Ti siña este i bunita na påtgon chumocho esta ki munhåyan i bi’uda yan i patgon-ña. Pues yanggen guaha sopbla nengkåno’ gi lamasa, i bunita na påtgon ha kånno’. Lao yanggen tåya’ sopbla, pues ti chumocho gui’. Mampos ti mamagof gui’ gi gima’.

Kada munhåyan i che’cho’-ña siha, Si Hitda humånao asta i hatdin-ña ya ha a’atan i mambunita na flores. Un diha måtto un buniton paluma ya tumohgue gi flores Hitda. Pues este i paluma ha atan Si Hitda ya pues ha tutuhun kumånta. Anai munhåyan i kantå-ña, gumupu asta i chågo’ña na lugåt. Si Hitda ha tattiyi este i paluma. Anai måtto gui’ gi fi’on i paluma, este i paluma gumupu ta’lo. Guaha buente dies biahi na gumugupu ha’ este i paluma esta ki måtto gui’ gi un guma’. Pues Si Hitda ha li’e’ lokkue’ este i gima’. Anai måtto gui’ guatu, ha baba I pettan i gima’. Bula’ salåpe’ mamoddong ginnen i hilo’ potta, pues chetton gi chininå-ña. Gof bunita i chininå-ña. Malågu gui’ tåtte asta i gima’-ñiha ya ha sangåni i bi’uda yan i patgon-ña.

I bi’uda yan i patgon-ña gof malago’ na u ma li’e’ ayu na guma’ anai guaha salåpe’. Pues ma tågo’ Si Hitda para u konne’ siha i dos guatu asta ayu na guma’. Si Hitda måmpos maolek na påtgon ya ya-ña lokkue’ na este i dos u guaha chininan-ñiha salåpe’. Ha konne’ siha guatu asta ayu i gima’. Anai manmåtto siha, Si Hitda humånao asta i petta ya pues ha baba. I salåpe’ ta’lo sigi machuda’ påpa’ ginnen i sanhilo’ i petta. Si Hitda ha chule’ este i salåpe’ ya ha po’lo gi sanhiyong i gima’. Este i bi’uda yan i patgon-ña anai ma li’e’ este gof magof. Malågu i dos guatu asta i petta ya ma baba, lao ti salåpe’ tumunok ginnen i petta. Sigi i gefmaipe na atkitran machuda’ ya sinengge’ siha i dos asta ki matai i bi’uda yan i patgon-ña. Pues este i bunita na påtgon sumåga’ guini na guma’ ya mampos magof yan meggai salape’-ña. Todu i tiempo gogof magof guini na guma’ sa’ bula esta amigu-ña.

Måkpo’ i estoria.


5 thoughts on “Chamorro Cinderella Story

  1. Hu egga’ i mubi ginen 1950 kada Damenggo gi gima’ yu’us anai mas hoben yu’. Tåya’ mubi siha gi giman-ñiha i saina-hu siha. Gof ya-hu i kantan låmpåsu (“I Kantan Cho’cho'”); hu egga’ i eskina låmpåsu gi meggaigaigai na tiempo siha.


  2. Hi! I am originally from Guam, along with my Dad’s side of our family … I, unfortunately, do not speak much Chamorro at all. I was wondering if you could send me an English translation of this Chamorro Cinderella Story? I can of course ask my father for a translation, but since I stumbled upon your post? I thought I’d ask you. Thank you!


    • This story is found in Topping’s Spoken Chamorro workbook. Here is a quick translation:

      Long ago and far away, there lived a father, a mother, and two daughters. One was very pretty, and the other was not pretty. The pretty one was named Hilda. The other was named Matilda. The pretty daughter was not really the sibling of the other. The father’s wife was not really the mother of the pretty daughter. The pretty daughter’s mother was dead. Her father had remarried. This widow (his new wife) had brought her child, the daughter who was not pretty. The father died, and only the [step]mother and the two daughters remained. The mother and the daughter who was not pretty did not love the pretty one. The pretty one cleaned the house and ironed all the laundry.

      Every night Hilda would sit [rest] in the kitchen. She would remember her father who had died. She had no happiness. There were no new dresses for her. The widow and her ugly daughter had many new dresses. They often went to parties. Now Hilda stayed at home and did all the work. Sometimes she wouldn’t have finished her chores by morning. When it was time to eat, Hilda would place the food on the table and call the two others to eat. She could not eat until the widow and her daughter were finished. Then if there were any leftovers, the pretty daughter would eat them. But if there was nothing left, she would get nothing to eat. She was extremely unhappy in that house.

      Whenever her chores were done, Hilda would go into the garden and look at the beautiful flowers. One day a beautiful bird flew up and rested on Hilda’s flowers. Then this bird looked at Hilda and then began singing. When it finished its song, it flew a little bit further on. Hilda followed the bird. Whenever she reached the bird, it would fly on again. About ten times the bird flew on like this before coming to a house. Then Hilda saw the house also. She went up to it and opened the door of the house. A lot of money showered down from above the door, and stuck to her dress. This made for a beautiful dress. She hurried back to their home and told the widow [stepmother] and her daughter.

      The widow and her daughter really wanted to see that house were there was money. Then they ordered Hilda to show them to that house. Hilda was an extremely good child and she wanted the two to have money dresses also. She took them to that house. When they arrived, Hilda went to the door and opened it. Again money came down from above the door. Hilda took this money and just put it in the yard. When the widow and her daughter saw this, they were very happy. They both went and opened the door, but no money came from the door. Very hot boiling tar came falling and burned the two until the widow and her child were both dead. Then this pretty child lived there in the house and she was extremely happy and had lots of money. [She was] always very, very happy here in this house because she now had many friends.

      Måkpo’ i estoria. / The end! [The story is finished]

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: In Response To, “Chamorro Cinderella Story” | Stealing Quiet Time In Noisy Disorder

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