By Lori Lyn Lirio
TO further promote the Carolinian culture, the Carolinian Affairs Office, through the Administration for Native Americans or ANA grant, hosted five cultural promotion programs.
According to CAO project director Paul Ythemar, the program, which was started in January, was already attended by 400 people.
“The project’s is to promote Carolinian culture. We have a three-year outline for the program. For this year, our focus is on arts and crafts,” Ythema said in an interview.
On January, they offered mwaar making where 25 people attended the class while February was bead making. Most attendees were youth and about 25 participated in the three-day event.
“For the women’s month, which is March, we offered coconut oil making. About 20 young and old women went to Carolinian Utt for the class,” he said.
They conducted a class about canoe on the same month and 10 attended.
For the month of April, a total of 150 students attended the ukulele class.
Ythemar said they had six instructors that went to Garapan Elementary School, Oleai Elementary School and Hopwood Middles School to teach ukulele.
“We had two classes in each school. We conducted ukulele class three times a week,” he said.
For the month of June and July, the CAO partnered with four other agencies – Department of Youth Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture and Refaluwasch Advisory Council – and held three culture-centered summer programs. Almost 200 children participated in the three-week summer camp.
“In the summer camp, we taught the children Carolinian song and dance. They also learned how to weave, how to make mwaar and how to make bead necklaces and bracelets,” he said.
Ythemar said not all who participated were Carolinians.
“Most of our attendees were Carolinians, but we welcomed the participation of other people from different ethnic,” he said.
Ythemar said they will be offering lava-lava classes either on August or September.
“It is hard to find an instructor on this because not so many people know how to use a loom. Those who know how to make lava lava are mostly old people,” he said.
He also said, under the grant, by the end of three years there should be 200 Carolinians that will be taught and learned their culture.
The Administration for Native Americans, under the US Department of Health and Human Services, awarded US$441,815 to the CAO.