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House of Taga is located near San Jose Village, on the island of Tinian, United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Marianas Archipelago. The site is the location of a series of prehistoric latte stone pillars which were quarried about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) south of it. Only one pillar is left standing erect. The name is derived from a mythological chief named Taga, who is said to have erected the pillars as a foundation for his own house. Legend says Chief Taga was murdered by his daughter, and her spirit is imprisoned in the lone standing megalith at the site.
The prehistoric latte stone pillars (also called taga stones) at House of Taga stood 15 feet (4.6 m) high, and were quarried about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) south of the site. The original megaliths consisted of a base (haligi) and a hemispherical cap (tasa). When uprighted in spaced parallel rows, it is believed a house was built on top. Of the twelve upright stones sketched by British explorer George Anson during his 1742 visit to Tinian, only one remains standing. The As Nieves Rota Latte Stone Quarry is believed to be the Marianas origin of the period of these megalith structures
In his 1957 published work Marianas Prehistory: Survey and Excavations on Saipin, Tinian and Rota, anthropologist Alexander Spoehr noted that the House of Taga had most likely been the central latte structure among eighteen such structures on Tinian. According to legend collected by Spoehr, a 10 feet (3.0 m) tall Guam chief named Taga married a Rota woman. The chief began the Rota Latte Stone Quarry to carve stone for their home. Mid-way through, he changed his mind and instead built the house on Tinian
A variation on that story also puts Taga's origins at Guam. As a child, he began demonstrating such super-human strength that his own father was jealous and tried to kill him. Taga escaped from his father by jumping off a cliff on Guam and landing on Rota, almost 50 miles (80 km) away. On Rota, Taga grew to adulthood and became a braggart about his prowess. According to the legend, it was Taga who began the As Nieves Quarry on Rota and abandoned it for reasons that are unclear.
Taga married and had a family, and they sailed to Tinian. His reputation had preceded him, and the chief of Tinian presented several challenges to test Taga's strength. The chief was subsequently so impressed with Taga's abilities that he named Taga the chief of the island. Taga carved the latte stones to single-handedly build his Tinian house and a village for his people. He carried the multi-ton pillars all by himself. As the years passed, while on a trip to Saipan, Taga's wife gave birth to a son that Taga bragged about to no end. Taga's brother tired of all the bragging and challenged Taga to a contest, which ended in a draw between the two brothers. This was the end of Taga's bragging.
Eventually, Taga and his wife were the parents of twelve children. When Taga realized that his youngest son had greater strength than he, Taga flew into a jealous rage and murdered his son. Taga's wife died of grief. His youngest daughter then speared Taga to death and died of a broken heart. As each of Taga's twelve children died, their spirits inhabited the latte stones of his house. Each spirit was released by the individual latte stone falling to the ground. The lone standing megalith today is said to imprison the spirit of the daughter who murdered Taga
Rota Latte Stone Quarry is known as the As Nieves quarry and is located near the Chamorro village of Sinapalo, on the island of Rota, United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Marianas Archipelago. As Nieves was the origin the stone quarries in the Marianas. The prehistoric megaliths are believed to have been used as foundation pillars for houses, but their exact age and origins have not been determined. Some pillars weighed up to 35 tons with the methods of quarry and transportation not known.