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#518707 - 11/03/16 05:04 PM 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day  
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Garifuna Council announces activities for Garifuna Settlement Day

Garifuna Settlement Day falls on Saturday, November 19th this year, and the National Garifuna Council (NGC) San Pedro Branch has launched several events that will be held to commemorate their culture and heritage. With the assistance of Foreva Fancy Boutique and the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, the events will serve to promote and raise awareness on the rich Garifuna culture. This year’s celebrations are being held countrywide under the theme “Rísiti, Pántati, Gabafuti, Iúnrahowa meme la Rich, Proud, and Powerful, let us continue to preserve it.”

Have you ever wanted to indulge in cultural cuisine like boil up or hudut, or even delicious sweet potato pound? Your opportunity is here, as the NGC San Pedro Branch will be hosting a food expo on Saturday, November 12th at the Central Park. All are invited to come out and support the council by purchasing these staple Garifuna meals and desserts.

On Sunday, November 13th, the council will partake in their spiritual devotion by hosting a Garifuna Mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church (SPRCC). The Garifuna Choir will be present to help praise and worship at this event.

Another cultural show is scheduled to take place on November 18th, at a location yet to be determined. Following this show, there will be a dance to set the tone for Garifuna Settlement Day with Punta Boys and the Caribbean Kings.

A reenactment of the first Garifuna settling in Belize will take place on Saturday, November 19th at the Central Park. Afterwards, the council will parade around the town’s core, with live cultural music with the dominate sound of drums, and punta dancing.

This year will mark the 73rd year of Garifuna Settlement Day being observed as a public holiday, as well as the 184th anniversary of the Garinagu’s arrival to Belize.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

#519030 - 11/15/16 07:52 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch begins Settlement activities

Garifuna Settlement Day is slated for Saturday, November 19th, and the National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch (NGCSPB) began their celebratory activities on Saturday, November 12th and Sunday, November 13th.

Residents enjoyed a ‘Food Expo’ at the Central Park on November 12th. From 12PM to 3PM, council members sold their traditional foods and desserts to the public. Delicious hudut, fish sere, boil up, and even sweet potato pudding was available for the purchase, all while the unique sounds of Garifuna music.

Later that night at 8:30PM, hundreds of individuals converged at the Central Park on November 12th for Foreva Fancy Boutique’s exclusive, “Culture Meets Modern Fashion” fashion show. President of the NGCSPB, Alex Noralez welcomed guests, leading them in a special Garifuna prayer. Master of Ceremonies Phillip Ramsey invited the crowd to experience the rich Garifuna culture through music, clothing and faith. For musical entertainment, the council performed live drumming with maracas and turtle shells. The Garinagu have several varieties of dance, and two forms were displayed by the San Pedro Dance Academy during intermissions.

On Sunday, November 13th, the NGCSPB held a Garifuna Mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church at 10AM. The mass was certainly a celebration of the culture, with the council dressed in their traditional clothing celebrating mass. The Belize City Garifuna Choir sang to the rhythm of the Garifuna drums, adding a wonderful cultural touch to Sunday mass in San Pedro.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Garifuna Language and Dress

Belizean children learn a bit about Garifuna language and attire via Adele Ramos

Dia de Garifuna Livingston Guatemala

Take a look at Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Livingston, Guatemala (2013).

#519089 - 11/18/16 12:00 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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How You Can Spend the 19th in Belize City

Sebastian Cayetano

Festivities in commemoration of Garifuna Settlement Day have begun across the country.  In Belize City, there is a full itinerary of events leading up to the Nineteenth of November.  The rolling and booming bass of Garifuna drums can be heard along Mahogany Street, as well as in other neighborhoods in Belize City.  The party culminates on Saturday morning with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Martin’s Church.  Earlier today, News Five spoke with Garifuna elder Sebastian Cayetano who gave shared a schedule of the upcoming activities.

Sebastian Cayetano, Garifuna Activist

“We begin with our theme, our powerful theme.  It says Garifuna: risiti, pantati, gabafuti inurahouwamemela.  Meaning, Garifuna: Rich, Proud and Powerful.  Let us continue to preserve the culture.  Now today, was and is Garifuna Awareness Day.  Today, many and most Garinagu should come out wearing their Garifuna attire.  We have other colors but we pattern our colors off the Garifuna flag of black, white and yellow.  We also ask Belizeans to join us as a mark of solidarity, you know, in wearing something Garifuna for today.  Okay, tonight at six o’clock is the tribute to Thomas Vincent Ramos Award at the Mexican Institute of Culture beginning at about six this evening.  Then tomorrow, all night festivities, drumming and Larubeya Band at BTL Park beginning at nine pm.  That’s tomorrow and the band will be there, will be drumming there all night until Saturday morning.  Saturday morning, the Yurumein goes out.  That’s the re-enactment and this will take place at seven o’clock at Belcan Bridge.  The Belize City Mayor Bradley will be there to welcome our people.  After that a parade will follow to St. Queen 2016/2017.”

Channel 5

#519112 - 11/18/16 11:42 PM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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on Open Your Eyes....

#519113 - 11/19/16 12:03 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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Settlement Day In South

Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement Day (article written last night) - and in Southern, Central and Western Belize, Belizeans will celebrate the roots and the rhythms of this vibrant culture. In 2014 I travelled to Dangriga to witness the Yurumein Ceremony - which is the re-enactment of the arrival. Now, re-enactments of the arrival are staged all over the country, but the ones in PG and Dangriga are the most celebrated. Two years ago, I found out why:...

Courtney Weatherburne reporting
The history of the Garifuna tells us that they arrived in Belize on November 19th, 1823. 91 years later the re-enactment of the arrival of the ancestors still continues.

With the Garifuna flag hoisted proudly, swaying in the early morning wind, the participants of the YURUMEIN paddled in. Their chants and songs reverberating like the infectious beat of the drums.

Alice Sabal, Onlooker
"We are celebrating our heritage. We are celebrating our music. We are celebrating our language. We are celebrating the way we dress - that's what we are celebrating today and that is what we should be depicting as Garifuna youths today."

It is a grand celebration indeed and the YURUMEIN is only the beginning. As the participants dock, a special communal performance welcomes their arrival. Then there is the procession to the Sacred Heart church for mass.

It has every appearance of a vibrant and flourishing ceremony but there is a nagging undertone: what is the level of youth involvement and more importantly, whether they will carry forward this national celebration.

Indeed, youths flooded the bridge, streets and riversides but are they really out here to embrace their heritage?

Joycelyn Lambey Cayetano. Onlooker
"That's the scary part because yes they are all here in abundance, but nevertheless it's more for a party setting because the youth really need to galvanize to carry the legacy because the Garinagu people have a rich culture that has been suppress lately for whatever reason. I don't know why the kids are not engaging."

Rita Bennett, Onlooker
"Sometimes I think it's going to diminish getting dress with the culture."

And there are some youths who are interested in connecting with their culture and heritage. That appreciation was sparked from a very early age.

Imani Palacio, Participant
"Well I fir sure enjoy it and every year I go, so from primary school enjoy doing it. Every year we do tis just to show love for our ancestors."

Trevan Castillo, Participant
"I choose to be a part of Yurumei because my ancestors did it and so I just want to take up that habit of doing it because I don't want my culture to be lost. I want to uplift my culture and be in it."

That outlook on their identity was inspired by their parents.

Alice Sabal, Imani's Mother
"It's been easy because we listen to a lot of Garifuna music at home and what the children do is practice the songs. So it becomes much easy for them when they grow older that they can participate in whatever event leading up to the celebration."

Darwin Lino, Drummer
"Keep the culture alive. Spread the culture and do more towards the culture and not wait for 19th November to come and spread the culture. They have to spread it and do it the right way."

So this event is both retrospective and prospective. It is a strong tie to the past but also a link to the future, to instill a lesson of history and perseverance into coming generations. Reporting for 7news, I'm Courtney Weatherburne.

And we close tonight, in that same spirit, looking back to a 2010 acoustic performance from Aurelio Martinez of his classic "Africa". Enjoy, and we hope you have a great Garifuna Settlement Day Holiday.

Channel 7

#519161 - 11/21/16 12:26 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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Beautiful Garifuna Settlement Day in Southern Belize: Hopkins and Dangriga

On Friday, I headed out EARLY from San Pedro to Hopkins in Southern Belize to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. A holiday to honor the Garifuna culture – one special culture out of many in this tiny country.

I set out at 5am…got to the municipal dock and…there were about 10 people there. Not the HUGE celebration I had envisioned. LUCKILY some folks I know from San Pedro pulled up and made a quick call – let’s all drive the 20 mins to Dangriga.

We were off. And what I found was a huge crowd that had been partying all night long…and a boat arrival that happened about 1 hour late…

The procession started with two dug-out dories. Probably the same boats the original Garifuna settlers used. And it was followed by twirling motor boats entering the rivers mouth.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Scoop

#519192 - 11/22/16 12:03 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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PM Pays Respect To Garinagu

All roads led to the culture capital in Dangriga for Settlement day on Saturday the 19th. For Prime Minister Dean Barrow - he has to also use the opportunity stock up on political capital since Dangriga has a UDP Mayor in Francis Humphreys and a UDP Area Representative in Frank "Pawpa" Mena. And more than just pay tribute to the Garinagu, the Prime Minister also gave a boost to the National Garifuna Council:...

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Culture encompasses the greatest achievements of our planet. That it is what over the ages has lifted mankind and womankind from the status of animals. Accordingly Belize like every other ocuntry on earth is proud of its culture. And we have been particularly blessed in this regard, to have inherited, developed and perfected a culture that has many sources. That is multi-ethnic and multi-lingual and continually fertilized and expanded by a rich variety of practices, traditions, persons and influence. and on this day, it gives me great pleasure to record once again: that of all the multiple strands that make up the national Belizean culture, none is more dynamic, none is more vital, none is more vibrant, none is richer, none is more life affirming that the Garifuna culture."

"I pay maximum tribute, not just to Alejo Beni and TV Ramos, and Any Palacio and Garifuna heroes past and present but to all Gariangu, to every Garifuna man woman and child making up the great Garifuna nation which is so import as a part of the great Belizean nation."

"We will continue therefore always to concretize our gratitude to Garanagu by offering practical assistance in the great enterprise of Garifuna retrieval and preservation. Last year, I was able to offer a significant contribution to the Gulisi community primary school, dedicated to the all-important endeavor of the teaching of the Garifuna language. This year, after a wonderful visit that I had with the National Garifuna Council, government was able to commit to an increase of subvention for the NGC in order to help it embark on full time service to the Garifuna community."

The Prime Minister has also committed to apportion land for the Belmopan Branch of the National Garifuna Council and to extend the Gulisi teaching project to Belize City.

Channel 7

#519194 - 11/22/16 12:11 AM Re: 2016 Garifuna Settlement Day [Re: Marty]  
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Ambergris Caye celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day

On Saturday, November 19th, Ambergris Caye joined the countrywide celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day. Under the theme ‘Risiti, Pantati, Gabafuti, Funrahova, meme la (English: Rich, proud, and powerful, let us continue to preserve it) the local branch of the National Garifuna Council (NGC) San Pedro branch held several activities ranging from cultural presentations and drumming, to the re-enactment of the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize.

This year’s island activities started on Friday, November 18th. People gathered at the Central Park shortly after 8:30PM to observe the festivities. During a short ceremony, President of the NGC Alex Noralez welcomed everyone to the event and thanked them for their continued support. He invited all attendees to join in the celebration and enjoy the show. Mayor Guerrero also delivered a few words, expressing the town council’s support for the local Garifuna community, and wishing everyone a happy Garifuna Settlement Day. Immediately after, the audience was entertained with several dance presentations. Garifuna dancers delighted everyone with traditional Paranda, Chumba, Hunguhhunguh, Bow-le-le and Punta dances. A non-stop drumming session followed, which merged with the live performance of Caribbean Kings and Punta Boys. The crowd stayed to celebrate until the wee hours of the night, bringing in the 19th with much merriment and fun.

Early in the morning of the 19th, the traditional ‘Yurumei’ took place; this is the re-enactment of the arrival of the Garifuna to Belize. The singing and drumming of the group could be heard clearly as they reached the beach via boats. Upon disembarking, the group marched towards to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church for a mass of blessing. Shortly after, a parade took place through the main streets of San Pedro town. Many residents came out of their homes to take a look as the group paraded by singing and drumming.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Happy Garifuna Settlement Day 2016

Click photos for more pictures!

215 years of Garifuna presence in Belize

2016–Garifuna communities across Belize as well as those overseas marked a milestone on Saturday, November 19th in celebrating an enduring movement that has grown from a local celebration birthed in Dangriga in 1941 led by Garifuna icon Thomas Vincent Ramos to a cross-border celebration which serves to connect people even outside the Garifuna culture.

The focal point for the celebration is still the culture capital of Dangriga, but local celebrations were also held in places such as Belize City and Orange Walk, and overseas communities like New York.

Perhaps the most notable shift that is now clearly evident in 2016 is the mixture of the traditional with the contemporary; paddles are replaced by outboard motors and traditional Garifuna drummers are showcased alongside marching bands, depicting how the rich Garifuna culture continues to find an unparalleled place in a changing world, echoing the UNESCO declaration celebrating the culture as “a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.”



In this year’s Dangriga parade, young people featured prominently. National security forces such as the police and the military are often staffed by Garinagu, and members of the police and Belize Defence Force marched alongside children of the Pomono Police Cadet, who showcased the cultural colors of yellow, white and black.

The annual reenactment of the Yurumein in celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize and the attendant festivities are not just significant to the Garifuna nation and the diaspora, but also to the nation of Belize, since it cements the fact that the British—and not the Spanish rulers of this sub-region—were the ones administering the lands now known as Belize even before the 1859 treaty between Britain and Guatemala, despite controversy in Guatemala over that age-old accord.

When the Garinagu migrated in waves to Belize’s shores in the 19th century, they were seeking refuge from Spanish rule, and there was an explicit acknowledgement that they were seeking succor from persecution, marginalization and attempted genocide when they voluntarily came under the flag of the British, despite the 1797 exile by the British from Yurumein/St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

What had happened in the interim was an unsuccessful attempt by the British to get the Garinagu to fight in the Battle of St. George’s Caye, suggesting that an alliance began to be formed a few years after the St. Vincent exile of 2,248 Garinagu. It is against this backdrop that the move to what is now known as Belize came.

The first historical milestone was 1801, when seafaring Garinagu who were living in Honduras, and who traveled the coast back and forth to Mexico, were offered temporary stays of two days at Yarborough in Belize City. In 1802, the first wave of migration was allowed by the British, and 150 were allowed to stay at Yarborough that year.

In speaking at official ceremonies on Saturday, November 19, 2016, in Dangriga marking the 193rd anniversary of the arrival of Garinagu to the town revered as the country’s culture capital, Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño said: “For us in Belize, one of the most profound occurrences in our nation’s history occurred in 1802, with the arrival of the first Garinagu who came here tired from their travels, having been cast out from their homeland…”

Briceño added that, “…three decades later, a second and larger group would join them on these shores on a bright November day – a day we all celebrate now as Garifuna Settlement Day. In the many days since that historic day – many trumped up the courage of their ancestors to fulfill their dreams to build Belize not only for themselves but for all of us.”

The second and more notable wave came in 1823, when it is reported that 300 settled in Dangriga, 125 in Punta Gorda, 28 in Seine Bight, and the rest elsewhere in southern Belize. At the time, the Yarborough Garifuna population had reportedly grown to 375, bringing the total population to about 875. Major-General Edward Codd (1823-1829), gave permission for the Garinagu (then called Caribs) to settle southern Belize. This development was pre-1859.

The 1786 Treaty had only established Belize’s southern boundary as the Sibun River, and the only formal treaty to acknowledge the Sarstoon as Belize’s southern border came in 1859; however, that very treaty acknowledged that border areas spelt out in the document had existed on and before January 1850.

E. Roy Cayetano, Garifuna historian, noted on the occasion of Garifuna Survival Day (on April 12 this year) that “all the Garifuna communities, traditional Garifuna communities are established south of the Sibun River.”

“In case you don’t know why, I expect you know by now,” Cayetano said, adding that, “There are implications for our rights in this country.”

Although much has been written and said about Garifuna culture and history, not much has been said about the implications of this milestone in solidifying sovereignty over the southern portion of Belize, another cause for Belizeans to pay tribute.

Last year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced Government funding to pay for the T.V. Ramos bust that was sculpted by Steven Okeke, as well as funding for the cultural retrieval work of the Gulisi Community Primary School in Dangriga.

On Saturday, he announced in his Settlement Day remarks that this year, after a visit with the National Garifuna Council (NGC), the lead organizer for Garifuna Settlement Day events as well as Garifuna cultural retrieval, he has committed to an increased government subvention to the NGC to help embark on full-time service to the Garifuna community. He also announced support for the acquisition of a lot in Belmopan for an office for the NGC’s Belmopan branch and publicly reiterated his promise to Cynthia Cayetano of the Belize City branch of the NGO to fund an extension of the Gulisi teaching project to the old commercial capital of Belize City. Finally, he announced the reinstatement next year of the post-ceremony, post- parade school children’s treat for Garifuna Settlement Day.

“Of all the multiple strands that make up the national Belizean culture, none is more dynamic, none is more vital, none is more vibrant, none is richer, none is more life-affirming than the Garifuna culture,” Barrow said.

“Inspired by their ancestors, the Belizean Garifuna refused to be victims of a cruel colonialism and today we find the success and achievements of our Garinagu in every walk of Belizean life,” Briceño said.


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