Puntan Påtgon

Puntan Påtgon

by .
Courtesy of Guampedia

Editor’s note: Few things offer insight into a place and its people like stories passed from one generation to the next. These stories are part of the wealth of information being compiled on Guam’s free online encyclopedia, Guampedia, which shared them with Stripes Guam for this feature series. You can support this 501 (c) (3) non-profit community project by purchasing the children’s ebook “Chamorro Folktales” at: guampedia.com/gift-shop/products/category/children

The legend of Puntan Påtgon (Child’s Point) is a folktale about a powerful man who becomes envious of his child’s superior strength:

Long, long ago giants are said to have lived in the Mariana Islands. Among them was a proud and strong man named Masala who lived on Guahan. He was the most powerful man in the Marianas and his strength could not be matched by any other.

Masala’s wife gave birth to a son. At first Masala was very proud of his child, boasting about him and presenting him to everyone. However, as the child grew into a toddler, people began to notice of his strength and power. Masala grew envious of the attention given to his child.

One day, Masala’s son caught an ayuyu (coconut crab) and spent many hours playing with it. Eventually, though, as crabs do, it disappeared into a hole near a niyok (coconut) tree. When the child noticed the ayuyu was gone, he reached down into the hole to get his pet but couldn’t get a hold of it. He grabbed the niyok tree near the crab hole and tore it completely out of the ground to uncover the hidden ayuyu.

Masala, watching the child at the time, was about to help his son fetch the ayuyu before he uprooted the tree. Masala flew into a jealous rage and went after his son. The little boy, frightened by his father’s anger, ran as fast as he could toward the northernmost tip of Guahan. When he reached Hinapsan (Jinapsan) Point he took a giant leap, landiang on the southernmost point of the neighboring island of Luta (Rota), about forty miles north of Guahan.

To this day, there is an imprint of a giant foot in the rock on Guahan believed to be the child’s and on Luta there is another footprint at the point where he is said to have landed.

Some believe that the child remained on Luta and became the great legendary Chamorro Maga’låhi Taga.

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