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Garifuna Culture & History
The Punta Explosion is a
celebration of the Garifuna community’s pride and culture.
In Belize, Mexico,
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Caribbean Islands there is the
Garifuna culture with approximately 500,000 people. The Garifuna are
descendants of Kalinagu who were in the Guianas of South America.
Celebrations and ceremony are important in the Garifuna culture and
reinforce the cultural unity and spiritual beliefs of the Garifuna. When a
celebration takes place with the entire village, friends and relatives
celebrations include special music and songs: work songs, hymns,
lullabies, ballads, and healing songs are popular. The African influence
is heard with complex drum rhythms and call-response patterns in songs.
Music, street dances, and costumes
Dances are a common form of
expression in the Garifuna culture. The Paranda is a slow dance by women
who shuffle in a circle accompanied with hand movements.
Punta is a dance competition
done by couples, which includes flirtatious movements. In Belize, "
punta rock" originated and is popular along with the "cungo"
a dance influenced by the West Indian reggae. Some people make their
living by selling their crafted items: baskets, drums and hats, wood
furniture and canoes. There
is much feasting on cassava bread, plantains, rice, beans, cheese, and
Punta Rock" is considered the mainstream music of Belize and
Honduras- since 1998 Garifuna artists have been performing at Linclon
Gaifuna people have worked for the United Fruit Company in Central
America, a company whose headquarters were in Newton, MA. After United
Fruit was broken up, many Garifuna people move to the United States and
brought their families. They fought in WWII and other wars. Gaifuna
Translators work for the court system in Los Angles and NY. The Garifuna
are considers as a community in the Public School System.
aboard slave ships in West Africa, a group of Garífuna forebears were
likely destined for New World mines and plantations when they wrecked off
St. Vincent in 1635. They found refuge with the island’s Carib Indians,
immigrants from South America. The two peoples blended through marriage,
creating the Garífuna culture: Caribbean fishing and farming traditions
with a mixture of South American and African music, dance, and
spirituality. Exuberant drumbeats punctuate virtually every Garífuna
celebration and evoke African and South American roots.
The Garifuna are a unique
cultural and ethnic group. They first appeared in this area over 300 years
ago, when escaped and shipwrecked slaves mixed with the native Caribs.
The untold story of their ancestors' resistance to slavery is described by the descendants of these courageous Garifuna forebears. Punta Explosion celebrates the continuity of Garifuna culture, We learn of their unique history, language, food preparation, spirituality, music, and dance to gather here and celebrate in explosions of pulsating drums and chants from ancient roots.
108 Chestnut Ave #2
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130