Myrtle Palacio’s other publication, “Electoral Politics in Belize: The Naked Truth” draws from statistical data on the democratic process that paints a picture of Belize’s political landscape. It is her hope that the book will be used as resource material by students interested in researching and writing on the nation’s political history.
Myrtle Palacio, Author
“My main objective really is to continue to improve the quality of our democracies and there are democratic institutions that are important to this objective or this purpose and to highlight who those are and how we as a people by becoming aware of what is happening, the dynamism with what is happening with the use of ICT, the technology, the standup interviews, that there is enough information that students can download, watch and analyze. Content analysis is very important when you’re looking at news items and what our political leaders are saying. The results of elections as I’ve mentioned speaks volumes. It speaks volumes when only forty-two percent turns out to vote for a council and some of those examples that I used in my presentation. I mean political science is like any other, like anthropology, like economics and it is very important because the very way in which we participate in our democracy is by voting and we can’t walk away from it on the day after elections because we have voted for leaders who will make decisions about economics and the other aspects of our society. So this is encouraging young students, there is enough data there, analysis in other themes that may be coming out in the book or other themes that may perceive as themselves and it’s really contributing to the literature on improving on the quality of democracy.”
Both books are currently available for purchase at the Angelus Press Ltd.
The culture of politics and the politics of culture are the central themes that define the latest two books written by local author and educator, Myrtle Palacio. The books released today at an official launching ceremony held at the Image Factory explore Electoral politics in Belize and Garifuna spiritualism. In the Naked Truth, Palacio presents an overview of the country's system of governance, while in Adugurahani, she investigates the misunderstood phenomenon of Garifuna spiritualism. She told us more today:
Myrtle Palacio - Educator, Author
"Belize is virgin territory for research, and many outside scholars are aware of this, and are making use of Belize as their canvas. Both offerings are well-researched, triangulated, and presented in scholarly manner. The book on electoral politics is my second major offering, the first being my 1993 publication entitled "Who and What in Belizean Election, 1954 to 1993". I have also shared with the public, several manuscripts and brochures as an endeavor in voter education during my tenure as Chief Election Officer. Since then my public has been demanding information on Municipal Elections. In my analysis, I have tried to highlight the data, and what the data said, nothing less, nothing more. In terms of the book, "Adugurahani", it is partly the lived experience of Bouye John Mariano. He had always advocated that traditional knowledge - all ways of life - be documented as way of sharing the information. He said to me before he passed away - even weeks before he passed away - 'You have to bring it out it; it is time to put it in writing.' He is very political - Bouye John - not party politics, but in terms of dealing with his culture. It is a detailed description of the Dugu, and all its nine rituals. The book pro-offers the following as a definition of Dugu, consisting of nine highly structured rituals, Dugu is a sacrosanct ceremony, which is the authority system in the spiritual health of Garifuna people. It is a lot of food for thought that is in both books, and I deliberately made it provocative. The 'Adugurahani' book raises the issue of anomalies of using the songs, and the intellectual property. I am not making decisions; I'm just bringing awareness to these things, similarly with what is happening in our electoral system."
The books are on sale at the Image Factory store, the Angelus Press, Brodies and other establishments where books are sold.
Former Chief Elections Officer-turned-author Myrtle Palacio today released two publications that, to say the least, are completely different in scope and focus. After sitting with the late John Mariano, a renowned spiritual healer within the Garifuna community, Palacio compiled a comprehensive book. Adugurahani: A Walk Through Garifuna Spiritualism is a piece of literature which delves deeply into the previously undocumented Dugu ritual.
Myrtle Palacio, Author
“The book on Adugurahani most of the information comes from late buyei John Mariano, sit-down interviews with him but also observing for several years, several Dugu, there are several rituals and I think it’s the first time, I know it’s the first time that these are documented. He, buyei John Mariano, wanted some documentation because of his awareness of moving away from the purpose of the Dugu and some of the very serious and sacred rituals and songs as I had just mentioned today in the book. It’s really a detailed description of the nine rituals in the Dugu that has come forward to kind of demystify the ceremony in a way but to bring information to document traditional knowledge and to look at the anomalies of taking on intellectual property rights as your own and specifically to highlight the sacredness of the music and all the rituals that make up the ceremony. That’s the life of a people and we don’t play with it, we don’t downplay it at all.”