The Sweet Spot
The Sweet Spot
This chapter follows historic and contemporary stories and devotional practices centered on the exact spot in the seaside village of Tomhom, Guam, where San Vitores is believed to have been killed. It begins with an enduring Chamorro folk belief (blood of Padre San Vitores) as it surges around past and present-day foreign skeptics intent on demonstrating the truth behind the phenomenon and the errors to be found in the historical coupling of Native and Catholic “superstitions.” Next, it turns to a more humanist history of Chamorro and sanhiyong efforts to “mark” or lay claim to the spot, whether for spiritual, political, economic, or even sexual purposes. Such a historical showering of activities reveals competing claims over the meanings of San Vitores' name and fame inasmuch as any or all of the attention directed at this spot derives from its notoriety as the hallowed ground where the priest took his spill. With these “local” materials, the chapter shows how close attention to this spot in particular, given its holy notoriety, can also display the multiple and multiply layered Chamorro political and cultural stakes in re-membering San Vitores for indigenous purposes.
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