Belize and the Garifuna Culture

Belize and the Garifuna Culture

Belize is a small country squeezed between Guatemala, Mexico and the Caribbean Sea with a mixture of various cultures. Throughout the years people from different corners of the world have come here and left their mark in the way that locals live. However there is a group that never left and is more alive than ever! They are the Garifuna.

The Garifuna are a very important aspect of the Belizean society. They are such a big and loved community within Belize that the government even gave them a national holiday to celebrate their history and culture. The celebration takes place on November 19th, the day when it is believed that the first Garifuna set foot on Central America. Each year the celebration has a different theme.

Some History: The Garifuna people are actually a group that appeared in the early 1800’s. Their ancestors are people from the Caribbean islands, Lesser Antilles and Africa who managed to escape slavery. Some were never slaves. It is thought that this is the reason why they managed to keep their culture. They weren’t exposed to the European religion and culture for long.

But they were noticed and had to resist British and French attempts to turn them into a colony. They had resist them and some had to migrate, flee and go through the Caribbean coast of Central America. That is why there are also other Garifunacommunities in Nicaragua, Honduras Guatemala and Southern Belize.

Fun Fact: On 2001 UNESCO declared the language, music and dance of the Garifuna people as intangible heritage of humanity.

About their Food: These guys are fishermen in the middle of the Caribbean. It isn’t hard to

figure out what they eat. All of the dishes have a distinct Caribbean taste, plus they are very hearty. The main ingredients used while cooking are: fish, chicken, bananas, plantains, coconut (and its milk), seafood, pepper, milk and cassava.

The staple of the Central American region is corn and it is used for the famous tortillas and tamales. But in the case of the Garifuna cassava is the staple. It is a poisonous potato-like root. Once the poisonous liquid is eliminated from it, it is turned into a sort of bread. This process is an art in itself because it takes several days.

About their Religion: Their religion is a mixture between Catholicism, African and Indian beliefs. They believe that their ancestors are an important link with this world and the spiritual one. All of their spiritual leathers can help you to make contact with the deceased. To achieve this, they need help from drums and dancing.

Another very important aspect of their spirituality is the belief that a person must be good to maintain the harmony with the living and the deceased as well as to avoid misfortune and illness.

About the Dancing and Music: Their dance style is called Punta. It is something really pretty to look at but it is also extremely hard to do. The main instruments are percussion based. This is used at parties and pretty much everywhere, any time of the day when they feel like doing it!

There is also a dance called Dugu. It isn’t as common as Punta because of its special meaning. Dugu is a ritual dance that the Garifuna do to pay respects whenever there is a death in the family.

I am sure that if you ever visit Belize and interact with this people you will discover that they are extremely friendly and will be more than happy to teach you whatever they can about their way of life.

Blog courtesy of http://gocentralamerica.about.com

Top Places to Stay in Belize






Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents

Belize Real Estate Opportunities






June 29, 2018

How the Belize Barrier Reef Beat the Endangered List

An oil drilling moratorium, development restrictions and fishing reform has helped the 200-mile-reef come off Unesco’s endangered world heritage sites...
Read More
June 26, 2018

What the New Alaia Belize Will Look Like

The newest addition to Belize’s fast-growing hotel pipeline is on track for 2020, and now we’ve gotten the exclusive first...
Read More
June 26, 2018

Saving the underwater wonder world of Belize’s reef

Just a stone’s throw off the coast of Belize, brightly colored tropical fish mingle with sharks, manta rays and sea...
Read More
June 26, 2018

RCL Exclusive Your Off-the-Grid Guide to Belize

Belize is the tropical vacation version of a perfect meal. Light appetizer, indulgent main course, decadent dessert and booze …...
Read More
June 17, 2018

Latham: Hard work must be the national symbol of Belize

BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize is tiny for a country — about the land size of Maryland — but it...
Read More
June 17, 2018

7 Ambergris Caye Restaurants Secret Special Request Options

Once you have lived on Ambergris Caye awhile, you get to know which restaurants have off-menu special request options. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Please Belize Me: Ten Reasons to Put Ambergris Caye on Travel List

After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Autograph Collection Hotels Set to Debut in Belize with the Opening of Alaia

Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the...
Read More
June 12, 2018

5 Reasons to Vacation in Belize this Summer

Summer is the busiest season for travel to Europe. That’s where most vacationers are headed during the months of June,...
Read More
1 2 3 19

Comments

comments

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Login

Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password

Register

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Banner-1