Abandoned on the island of Roatan, Honduras, by the English, the resilience of a people is clearly pronounced in the annals of history in a celebration of a culture bold today. The Garifuna culture is tightly knitted and protected and in every moment attempts are made to its preservation by the Garinagu people; this culture is one of the most robust and flamboyant cultures in the cultural canvas that is Belize.
The Garinagu speak their own language of which Arawak in the bedrock sprinkled with Carib, French, English and Spanish roots. It’s unique; it’s glamorous; it’s very much Belizean as it is Honduran, Guatemalan and in the words of Dr. Joseph Palacio, renowned Garifuna Anthropologist, “the worlds”!
Fishing villages are the foundation where their culture has been created. Originally gender-specific roles in the communities like there are gender-specific words like there are gender-specific words in the language, the Garifuna people inhabit a realm in the sophisticated – There is nothing truly basic about these fishing villages. There is always rich cultural reverberation in every single village.
The Garifuna food source, while there has been international assimilation of “world foods,” is cassava. A people’s resilience can easily be demonstrated by what it takes to prepare food from cassava. This root is quite poisonous in its natural state. Its preparation is labor intensive – harvesting, washing, cleaning, grating, soaking, soaking again and again, baking then baking again – then voila! “Ereba” for the world!
The Garinagu people like many other indigenous people from around the world are highly spiritual. They honor and revere ancestors and their birth, as well as their death spiritual rituals are passionate, moral, sincere, and orgasmic to the soul. With the dawn of Aquarius as the backdrop of our universe astrologically, the Garifuna meditation and ancestral worship process reflects the richness of acceptance and perseverance into a future of which we should not be afraid.
Let the drums of their fathers bring you home to Belize!