Mali's New Book
2 years ago, showed you the first children’s illustrated book published by Mali Cayetano, the daughter of well-known Garifuna artist Pen Cayetano. That book, called “We are Free”, paved the way for her on the local artist’s scene, and it was written and illustrated with the assistance of her mother, Ingrid and her brother, Ibo. Well, today, she released a sequel called “Wanaragua”. It follows up with the characters introduced in “We Are Free”, and those who choose to take the journey with them, get to learn about this very important ceremonial dance from the Garifuna.
Cayetano is studying in Germany, and so today, her mother and father, Ingrid and Pen Cayetano, launched the book in Belize City at the Leo Bradley Library. 7News stopped by and spoke with Ingrid about why the public should support this budding artist, who came up with the concept while doing her master’s thesis. Here’s what she told us:
The book costs $50, and it can be purchased from the Image Factory, or the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery in Dangriga. Additionally, it can be purchased online at the Amazon Book Store.
Cayetano family launches “Wanaragua”
There is a new publication, a children’s book, to add to your home library. It took approximately a year to put together by the gifted Cayetano Family. Artist Pen Cayetano and his wife, Ingrid, launched the book, “Wanaragua.” It is authored and designed by Ingrid and her children, who are currently living in Germany. The Cayetanos document the story of the jankunu dance and its history through paintings and words. The book was printed in China and arrived in the jewel in late October. The launch took place at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City this morning. News Five spoke with the Cayetano family who say that the book is a means of preserving the Garifuna culture.
Ingrid Cayetano, Author
“It’s a Garifuna word for the mask and we know the dance also as the jankunu. It is a part of the Garifuna culture and it is performed during the Christmas season—and not only in Belize, we know in St. Kitts, Jamaica, Honduras and it originated from Africa.”
“Why this book? Why was it important to put a book, a publication like this?”
“It’s a children’s book actually, but everybody loves it and everybody can read it—there is no age limit. It is my daughter’s idea; she is the designer of the book and myself and my son, we are the authors. So she did the book; her first book was actually “We are free;” it tells you the journey of the Garifuna people coming to Belize and this is the following book depicting more on the details of the culture because our thing is to preserve the culture and keep it alive in many forms. We do art, we do painting, we do music and we do books. Upstairs in the Leo Bradley Library, they have a display of the original artwork of the book. And they also have merchandise like necklaces, nice earrings and we have t-shirts and postcards.”
Pen Cayetano, Artist
“As my kids are growing and they are artists as well and they need our assistance; especially since I live on the land; I know the culture very much. They decided to write books. They had the book, “We Are Free,” and not they have “Wanaragua,” the Jankunu Book. And it is very important for the Belizean culture because Belize and this whole Caribbean dance this jankunu thing. And it was the dances of the great warriors in Africa until they brought us here and they transferred this dance to the crop-over dance for the masters them. But we try to keep this culture strong because it is a unique culture for Belize and for the whole Caribbean. So this “Wanaragua” book is very important for the kids and the people of Belize to have a copy of it.”
The book is fifty dollars and is available at image factory and in Dangriga at the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery as well as online at Amazon.