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#427435 - 01/11/12 03:38 PM Belizean Studies Focus On Culture
Marty Offline
We wouldn't say it's anywhere near as popular as the Amandala - but the Journal of Belizean Studies certainly has the history. The academic journal is in its 31st year of publication and Volume 31 issue number two was launched today at Saint John's college - under whose auspices the journal is published.

This edition focuses on culture and includes articles on

  • Gales Point Manatee Community
  • Rastafarians in Belize
  • A Book Review: Under the Yax'che Tree
  • And Andy Palacio.

SJC President Jorge Espat waxed poetic about the authors' accomplishment:

Jorge Espat, President SJC
"Weave through Belizean studies volume 31, number 2, is the striking vindication of identity and self-confidant, self-reliant individualism. I am moved by the contributors Emerson Ian's celebrations of self-confidence, the characters we meet, the honor seekers of Rastafarianism, the frontier community of Gales Point Manatee, Andy Palacio the passionate pilgrim and the dispensary of creativity, imagination and the supernatural through the anthology of Ruiz' "Under the Yax'che Tree", were not crippled by fear. Did not shrink from life, did not become dependent from illicit drugs or engaged in self-destructive behavior. The neurosis of the unconfident self was not present and could not undermine the yearnings of the soul making individuals and communities."

"The authors succeeded in depicting the terror and the beauty of life in stone bass people, the high ideals and heavy pride of black spirituality in Rastafarianism - dread locks displaced. The intense convictions and literary and musical achievements of Andy Palacio, builder of Belize, go carry him back home and the marvelous delight and accent of the Epicures feast of legends, tales and apparitions in "Under the Yax'che Tree.""

Lawrence Vernon, Dreadlock Displaced: Stereotyping Rastafarians in Belize
"My purpose in writing the article is that I believe we have all seen persons both male and female wearing their hair in what is popularly known as the dreads or dreadlocks."

"This is seen mostly among the Creoles, Garifuna and East Indians, and the first perception we seem to have is that they are Rastas. But in many instances and closer scrutiny or inquiry we discover that it is not every person wearing a dreadlock who is a Rastafarian. We have to conclude that dreads do not make the Rasta. Because a person does not have dreads does not mean they are not Rastas. I hope you can follow the negatives there. So for whatever reason Belizeans wear dreads for fashions, self-expressions, freedom. The effect it has on society and the reaction it has created has led to the obvious conclusion that there are dreads who are not Rastas in Belize as elsewhere, so this statement brings to mind Morgan Heritage singing "You don't have to be dread to be Rasta, this is not a dreadlock thing.""

The featured scholars and researchers include Rita Mae Hyde, Lawrence Vernon, Dr. Filiberto Penados, and Nyasha Laing. It is available for fifteen dollars at SJC.

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#427436 - 01/11/12 03:40 PM Re: Belizean Studies Focus On Culture [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

SJC’s Preeminent Publication of Journal of Belizean Studies

St. John’s College Junior College launched Volume thirty-one, Number Two of its esteemed publication, Belizean Studies. The journal of social research and thought is expected to stimulate further research into our own identity. Nigel Encalada, Director for Institute of Culture and Social Research says the journal explores the dynamic cultural history of Belize from the people of Gales Point, to Rastafarians, Andy Palacio and the people of Western Belize.

Nigel Encalada, Director, Institute of Culture and Social Research

Nigel Encalada

“The journal opens with the article, “Stone Bass People” a historical study of the Gales Point Manatee Community in Belize. Its author, Ms. Rita-Mae Hyde is a young, passionate, and dynamic researcher on culture in Belize and represents the future of cultural research in Belize. This is followed of course, by the article, ‘Dreadlocks Displaced: Stereotyping Rastafarians in Belize”. On the other hand, the writer of this article, Mr. Lawrence Vernon, is one of Belize’s most prolific archivist and researchers and in his article; he explores one of Belize’s most recent phenomena, ‘Rastafarianism’. Nyasha Laing, daughter of the later Edward Laing, an international Belizean Jurist, takes a refreshing approach in her reflections on the life and crowning of Belize’s very own, Andy Palacio.”

Jorge Espat

Jorge Espat, President, SJC

“These papers and narratives, admonish the readers to put side his timidity and reticence, fears and embarrassments, his tendency to bow down before the status quo. They urge us to believe in our own strengths and our own thoughts, to trust ourselves and to express our faith, whether through religion, cultural traditions and practices or through uprisings and revolt against unjust systems. Through this publication with its social and cultural analysis, we have a fuller meaning of who we are. Weaved through-out Belizean Studies, Volume 31, Number 2, is the striking vindication of identity and self-confidence, self-reliant, individualism.”

Copies of the journal can be obtained at SJC for fifteen dollars.

Channel 5


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