Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Information & Videos About Central America's Garinagu (Garifuna) Culture & Garifuna Settlement Day (Yurumein)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about and seven videos of the history and culture of the Garifuna of Central America with particular attention to (Yurumein) Garifuna Settlement Day (November 19th).

The seven featured videos in this post are of Garinagus in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of Garinagus or Garifuna culture throughout Central America or the world.

Click for more information about and videos of Garifuna people.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copy rights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who keep Garifuna culture alive. Thanks to all who are featured in this post and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

"Though commonly referred to as "Garifuna", the people are properly called "Garinagu" and the culture and language are "Garifuna". The Garinagu are recent arrivals to Belize, settling the southern coast of Belize in the early 19th century. The epic story of the Garinagu begins in the early 1600's on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

The Landing by Benjamin Nicholas
In 1635, two Spanish ships carrying Nigerian slaves floundered and sank off the coast of St. Vincent. The slaves that survived and swam ashore found shelter in the existing Carib Indian settlements. Over the next century and a half, the two peoples intermixed, intermarried and eventually fused into a single culture, the Black Caribs or Garinagu.

By 1773, the Black Carib was the dominant population of St. Vincent. But, European politics began to exert its influence throughout the Caribbean. A series of wars between the French and British on St. Vincent culminated in a final battle on June 10th, 1796, where the French and their Carib allies where forced to surrender and leave the island. Thus would start a journey by the exiled Caribs in search of a home.

The British deposited the Caribs on the island of Roatan, Honduras. Shortly after, the entire marooned population migrated to the mainland of Honduras and allied with the Spanish in the fortress town of Trujillo. Unfortunately, a brief civil war in 1832 found the Caribs on the wrong side and once again many were forced to flee to neighboring British Honduras.

According to tradition, the first Garifuna arrived in then British Honduras on November 19th, 1802. This day is now a national holiday in Belize celebrated with drums, dancing and pageantry. Today, there is one town in Toledo - Punta Gorda - that is considered a Garifuna town, and two Garifuna villages - Barranco (the oldest Garifuna settlement in Belize) and tiny Punta Negra."
Note that "British Honduras" is now known as "Belize".
"British Honduras was the name of a territory on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, after it became a British crown colony in 1862. In 1964 it became a self-governing colony. The colony was renamed Belize in June 1973[3] and gained full independence in September 1981. British Honduras was the last continental possession of the United Kingdom in the Americas."

"Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941.[1] It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977.[1] The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army.[2] The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing.[3]"

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

Example #1: Garifunas en Nicaragua .wmv

Bluefilms Raas, Uploaded on Sep 12, 2011

Una Produccion mas de Bluefilms

Example #2: Yurumein in Punta Gorda, Belize

Warasa Garifuna Drum School, Uploaded on Dec 1, 2011

Warasa's Ronald Raymond McDonald playing the small Primero drum during the Garifuna "Yurumein" re-enactment of the arrival of the Garifuna people on the shores of Belize. Small boats paddled by Garifuna families row to shore to request permission to land from the Governor. He refuses twice, but finally allows them to settle the sparely populated southern coast of Belize.

Example #3: tambores Garifunas, Santa Fe Colon, Honduras

Kenny Javier Castillo Published on Apr 23, 2012

tambores garifunas durante la celebracion del mes de la Herencia Africana en Honduras, consejo de ministros, Santa fe Colon 2012

Example #4: A Story About the Garifuna Documentary

Ben Petersen, Published on Mar 2, 2013

A rich Central American culture is fast disappearing in the wake of immigration and integration. This film chronicles the challenges and struggles of the Garifuna people to preserve their identity. The story serves as a microcosmic example of the loss of time-honored customs in a world that is increasingly becoming one homogenous international culture.

Full transcripts of interviews from the film:

A Ben Petersen Film
A Brigham Young University Communications Department Production
Produced, directed, and edited by Ben Petersen
Additional footage provided by: Jared Johnson, Dale Green and Jorge Zuniga.
Funding Provided by the BYU Office of Research and Creative Activities, BYU Communications Department and the B&A Trust Fund.
Music by Michael Bahnmiller. "Ba-ba" by Aziatic.

Thank you to the many people who made this film a success.

"Baba (Paranda)" by Aziatic, Punta Dan & Ras Z (Google Play • eMusic)

Example #5: Garifuna Nuguya Official Music Video (Hopkins,Belize)

OUT DA BOX FILMS BELIZE Published on May 5, 2014

Music by Clayton Williams from the village of Hopkins,Belize. Music video directed and produced by Jeremy Christoph from Out Da Box Films in association with Nituwana Foundation

Example #6: (Yurumein) Garifuna Settlement Day [Belize]

YoungStarr Entertainment, Published on Nov 4, 2014

At the center of Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations is the reenactment of Yurumein. Yurumein is the Garifuna word which means Homeland, it is a public reenactment of the epic journey of the Garifuna people from their homeland in St. Vincent to the shores of Belize The Yurumein is re-enacted in every major community where the Garinagu reside and presents itself as one of Belize’s prominent cultural celebrations. Other cultures of Belize have come to appreciate this annual celebration and it in fact contributes to our collective understanding of the Belizean identity. It is only hoped that the knowledge of Yurumein will be passed on to younger generations of Belizeans and thereby allow Garifuna Culture to remain an integral part of the Belizean way of life.

Example #7: A Look Back at Garifuna Settlement Day


Channel 5 Belize, Published on Nov 20, 2014

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