Symbolism between the Garifuna drums and the role of women in society
Josh Arana was a guest to share his thoughts on the symbolism between the Garifuna drums and the role of women in society. He shared how he came to this revelation after exploring the cultural significance of the drums to Garifuna life and ceremonies. He originally shared this perspective in his Ted Talk entitled, "How drumming made me a feminist."
How Drumming Made Me a Feminist | Joshua Arana | TEDxBelmopan
A powerful performance talk, Josh Arana tells us the story of how drumming taught him the value of women in the Garifuna culture, and women on a whole. Joshua Arana is a proud graduate of Ecumenical High School in Dangriga. As a child, he was always passionate about his drums. He loved drumming so much that it got him into trouble many days for playing on the desk.
He made a career out of his passion and today that career has landed him in over 20 countries all over the world to places like Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, and Switzerland. His drumming led to his current job as the Coordinator of the Stann Creek House of Culture. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Re: The hidden beauty of Garifuna Belize
#542707 06/01/2005:25 AM06/01/2005:25 AM
We the Garifuna people are among the 400 million people on this earth who speak one of the 6,000 indigenous languages that exist. Most of us are struggling to preserve our languages that we have been speaking for centuries before the Europeans came to our lands and established their colonial rule. They then passed decrees and laws forbidding us from speaking our native language and practicing our culture.
This is what the French and the British did to us in our native land 'Yurumein' now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines up until the war ended in 1796. About 5,000 of our people were removed from our mainland island and taken to one of our other island Balliceaux, where we were tortured and imprisoned. In 1797 about 2,500 of our people who survived the torturing, inhumane treatment and conditions they endured at Balliceaux, were packed up like cargoes and taken to the island of Roatan in the country of Honduras where they arrived on April 12, 1797.
At the time our people arrived in Roatan, our language was already mixed with French. Now that we were brought to Roatan, our language is now influenced by the British and the Spanish. Both the British and the Spanish did not want us to intermingle with the other ethnic groups in their colonies so they isolated us from them. The British hated us because of the fight we put up against them, to protect our land and to avoid being their slaves. They also did not want to run the risk of our people assisting the slaves in Belize and Nicaragua to rebel for their freedom. In most of Honduras and the other countries were the native Indians who the Spanish colonized their territories, tortured and slaughtered.
Like the French and the British, the Spanish established their language as the official language for all their colonies. The Indians fought to retain their land and preserve their language and culture by running away from them. Yet, the Spanish pursued them and killed all those who resisted their rule. When the French, British, Spanish, and the other European colonial countries made their languages the official languages for their colonies, they did this with the intent to eradicate all the other languages that were spoken in their occupied territories. Why? Because they know that the language of an ethnic group is the essence of their culture.
Once the native languages are removed by them, they will be in a better position to control and subjugate the people. We the Garifuna people because of our isolation from the other ethnic groups in these countries, were able to speak and maintain our language. As time went by, these countries decided to set up an educational system where everybody must go to school and learn their languages. In schools located in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala all the various ethnic groups were learning how to read, write and speak Spanish and in Belize and parts of Nicaragua, English. They introduced new languages to the Garifuna people in these territories for their economic, political, and social survival. As a result of this, Garifuna people focused on learning how to speak, write, and read these languages while neglecting their own Garifuna language.
Most Garifuna people cannot write or read the words in their native language because there were no native schools in most of their communities that taught them how to read and write Garifuna. Under international law, it is the responsibility of all governments to facilitate, accommodate, and assist the indigenous people like the Garifuna to preserve their language. Most countries have signed on to these international agreements like St Vincent and the Grenadines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, and the United States. Yet, they have no program in place for the Garifuna language and other ethnic languages.
In order for we the Garifuna people to learn how to speak, write, read and analyze our Garifuna language in the countries where we live, we must do the following things;
Continue to speak and teach our language to our children at home;
Open schools in all of our communities to teach our people how to speak, write, read and analyze our Garifuna language;
Bring a case against the governments in all the countries where we live who signed Treaties, Conventions, ILO-169, and other international agreements to teach our language in schools;
Interact with Garifuna people who live in other communities and countries to conduct language workshops and symposiums;
Establish an International Garifuna Language Institute (IGLI) with representatives from all the countries where we live to be responsible for the preservation, promotion, and protection of our language.
This organization should be under the jurisdiction of the Garifuna Nation and it is a necessary body to preserve the language, introduce new words, deal with all aspects of the language, and gain worldwide recognition.
Once we establish the IGLI, the members of this organization will be able to do a thorough evaluation of the current state of our language and make recommendations on how to improve, preserve, and protect it. In my research, the late Vilma Roches-Joseph, a Garifuna scholar who did extensive research on our language, said that most of our people do not want to speak our language because of shame and low self-esteem.
I also think that we should include reasons our native language was not spoken to us in our homes as experienced; acculturation with other ethnic groups; peer pressure in the communities where some of us live, nobody to speak the language with regularly; resentment from other Garifuna people like ourselves who know how to speak the language; while some of us do not understand the benefits of our historic language.
We know the obstacles faced with our history, culture, and language; now is the time for us to come together and correct the injustice.
Introducing Ms Norma Young, President of the National Garifuna Council Orange Walk Branch with a quick video tour on a few publications, artists, musical instruments, clothing and cooking utensils.
The Garinagu community takes pride in their traditional dishes prepared using traditional cooking utensils such as coconut graters, mortar and pestle, cassava straining tools to serve Garífuna dishes, such as ereba, cassava bread, and hudut to name a few.
Re: The hidden beauty of Garifuna Belize
#552658 09/13/2112:23 PM09/13/2112:23 PM
The Roots of the Garifuna culture come from Black Caribs and Arawaks. Labeling is topical – ROOTS is where the answer is! COMMENT: This statement is WRONG. The term Black Caribs is a misnomer. The CORRECT term has ALWAYS been Garifuna. Garinagu (plural form of Garifuna) are descended from Arawaks and Kalinago, both indigenous groups from South America, who mixed with Africans.
The Arawaks moved up from South America (Orinoco Basin) around 0AD (birth of Christ); the Caribs moved into the Caribbean around 1000AD. Correction: The proper dating, based on archaeological records, is believed to be closer to 600 BC.
Christopher Columbus met the Island Tainos (Arawak) CORRECTION: The Tainos have nothing to be with Garifuna people.
On the islands, the Arawak had gold, elaborate dances, used tobacco and other drugs, they were a loving people who were organized via matriarchal lines. The Caribs were raiders and traders. Among their raiding, they collected the Arawak women – which will sooner be a part of the larger Garifuna cultural mix and language After the biological mixing of Caribs and Arawak, the children were organized with a patronymic organization. They started to take their names form their fathers There was egalitarian gender relations – where women could engage in extra-domestic realm, including warfare COMMENT: These are superficial, erroneous, offensively-stereotyped and simplified representations consistent with colonial discourse.
The Garifuna people move extensively in a extensive territory COMMENT: What are you trying to say?
In Garifuna culture, the Shaman – a one-person operation, dominated spirituality. COMMENT: This statement is completely false and offensive. Garinagu do not have a shaman. Garifuna spirituality is not a "one-person operation".
The British wanted to get rid of the “Devil Garifuna” from Saint Vincent COMMENT: This statement is completely false and offensive.
The Garifuna village system was dominated by kin groups with their head men COMMENT: This statement is FALSE. Garinagu do not recognize a "village system" as a form or organizing.
The Garifuna today, collectively, have blocked the period of violent terrorism of their fore parents from their minds COMMENT: Totally UNTRUE. Garinagu suffer from historical and intergenerational trauma.
When the Garifuna first came to Belize it was basically only men who came. They worked in the mahogany camps. Families eventually started to come from Honduras and formed their own villages: Barranco, Hopkins Seine Bight, Dangriga. COMMENT: This is false. Archival records show the first "official" Garifuna settlement was of 500 people, men, women, children. The settlements that were established did not come from mahogany camps. Garinagu were running away from persecution.
In Garifuna culture, the religion is based on the concern for the unknown. To the Garifuna religion brings them to relationships with spirit ancestors. The religious process is done by ceremonies, music, dancing, healing ceremonies and they communicate through dreams. In Garifuna culture everybody gets to Seri (Garifuna Heaven). Hell is an introduced idea. In general, there is forgiveness COMMENT: It is very clear that whoever wrote this has not received proper information about Garifuna history, culture and traditions, including Spirituality. Do not speak of that which you do not know. This post has done more harm by propagating false information.
Nuguyalep Surusian Pee
Re: The hidden beauty of Garifuna Belize
#553984 11/16/2106:48 AM11/16/2106:48 AM
The Institute for Social & Cultural Research just published an article on www.belizelivingheritage.org talking about the history and culture of the Garinagu in Belize. It is the perfect time to learn a few historical facts as we celebrate this year's Garifuna Settlement Day 2021.
For instance, did you know that in 2001, UNESCO proclaimed the Garifuna language, music, and dance as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity?
Learning about the history of the Garifuna people in Belize ensures that future generations remain proud of their identity and history.
Learning about my Garifuna roots Hopkins is a Garifuna village on the coast of the Stann Creek District in Belize. Hopkins is considered by some Belizeans to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population in Belize. The town hosts its own national holiday, Hopkins Day, and welcomes people for their celebration on Garifuna Independence Day as well, they do this with drum ceremonies that can last till early hours in the morning.
What is Yurumein?
- Yurumein, meaning St. Vincent, commemorates the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize.
- This re-enactment is carried out on the early morning of Garifuna Settlement Day, November 19.
- This day includes a procession filled with traditional music and dance, a Mass of Thanksgiving and concludes with general merriment.
- Though previously observed only in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, Yurumein is now widely celebrated across several communities where Garinagu reside in Belize.
Garifuna Settlement Day (Yurumein)
Why we have Garifuna Settlement Day. On Nov 6, 1943, a Garifuna delegation consisting of Pantaleon A. Hernandez, Domingo A. Ventura, and T. V.Ramos petitioned Governor, Sir John Adams Hunter for a holiday in the south so that political recognition be given to mark the contribution of the Garifs to Belize. In particular as "pioneer settlers of the south".
A Synopsis of the Significance of Garifuna Settlement Day & Activities to Celebrate Melissa Zuniga - Dr. Gwen Nunez Gonzalez