Symbol of Chamorro Culture
Today, the enduring latte are found in coastal
areas and in river valleys. The latte are the prominent
remnants of the earlier Chamorro culture of the Mariana Islands.
Each latte is comprised of two stones. The
shaft stone placed on the ground is the haligi, and the cap stone
is the tasa. The latte were placed in parallel rows,
consisting of three to seven latte per row. Latte vary in
height from less than one meter to six meters, which are at the
House of Taga on Tinian.
The latte were constructed by the Chamorros,
from 1100 to 1700 A.D. Principally found on the islands of
Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, latte were used as the foundations
of important structures in Chamorro villages. Their use in
the Chamorro culture vanished when the Spanish devastated the
islands in the 1600s.
These latte, relocated in 1956, are from the
former village of Mepo in the Fena Valley of the current Ordinance
Annex, U.S. Naval Activities, Guam. The village site was
destroyed by military construction after World War II.
Latte Mepo Reconstructed
The latte site is a classic example of the
archeological ruins found only on Guam and the other islands of
the Marianas. They are of such antiquity that their purpose
was not known to the inhabitants of
Guam at the time of Magellan's
visit. These ancient monuments are part of the twelve stone
latte Mepo located near Fena River. During post World War II
construction the original site was destroyed, but these light
pairs of stones were saved and erected on this site during 1955
and 1956 in accordance with a sketch drawn in the third decade of