MicSem Publications

When Cultures Clash: Revisiting the ‘Spanish-Chamorro Wars’

  • Francis X. Hezel, SJ
  • Saipan: Northern Marianas Humanities Council, 2015. 99 pp. 2015. HISTORY RELIGION
The arrival of Spanish missionaries to the Marianas in 1668 was a first in Pacific Island history; it signaled the beginning of intense Western presence in the islands. The troubled years that followed, marked by intermittent outbreaks of violence, came to be known as the “Spanish-Chamorro Wars.” According to the standard textbooks, this thirty-year period was one of utter devastation–forced conversion, rapid cultural change, precipitous population decline, and loss of Chamorro identity. Or was it? This book seeks to offer a better grounded and more nuanced understanding of this critical period of initial Western contact in the Pacific.