Traditional Chamorro Jewelry

Nicole Villagomez '26 studies jewelry making in Saipan.

Under supervision of Analee C. Villagomez, Nicole Ann Villagomez '26 spent spring term interviewing jewelers on Saipan. She reports "From these interviews, I have learned about the larger idea of shell jewelry and body ornamentation in Ancient Chamorro society. I have explored Bayogo the Historic Preservation Office on the island as well as the archives at the local community college to further my research. 

"Additionally, I have found an upcoming opportunity from local jewelers to informally view art pieces and booths at the upcoming FlameTree Arts Festival. FlameTree is an annual event hosted on the island of Saipan that displays the culturally rich heritage of the Marianas. I plan to visit artists from Tinian and Rota. The shell making portion of my research has yet to begin as it has been increasingly difficult to find the materials and the tools to make necklaces. We are still in the process of trying to make at least one necklace for the culmination of my research."

This internship was made possible through the Gordon Russell '55 Endowment.