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Student Reflections

Reflections: The Value of Women in Leadership

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when there are nine.” Women are always needed in leadership roles, especially in the political and legal realm. I want to share an old Chamorro legend that tells a story of the importance of women and the value of their leadership. 

One day, a palaksi (giant parrot fish) was eating the reef and part of the island of Guam, the most southern island in the Mariana chain. The maga’haga (female leader) warned the people that the spirits were angry because of their selfishness and lack of respect for the land and waters. The maga’lahi (male leader) did not want the women to help because they insisted that it the warriors’ role to capture the fish. The women of the island gathered together in secret under the maga’haga, chopped off their hair, and wove a giant magical net. The next day, the men tried to capture the palaksi but failed miserably. The women found their way to the palaksi. With their indestructible net, they captured the monster fish. This is how the women of Guam saved their island.

Carmen Borja is a 2L from the island of Saipan.

Inserted Picture: Connie J. Adams, Pacific Island Legends (1999).

By Tribal Law Journal Blog

The Tribal Law Journal was established in fall 1998 for the purpose of promoting indigenous self-determination by facilitating discussion of the internal law of the world’s indigenous nations. The internal law of indigenous nations encompasses traditional law, western law adopted by indigenous nations, and a blend of western and indigenous law. Underscoring this purpose is the recognition that traditional law is a source of law.

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