Garifuna Culture of Central America

Topics: Garifuna, Belize, Nicaragua Pages: 2 (466 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Subject: Garifuna Culture of Central America

Garifuna Culture of Central America
The Garifuna people are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people. The British colonial administration used the term Black Carib and Garinagu to distinguish them fromYellow and Red Carib, the Amerindian population that did not intermarry with Africans. Today the Garifuna live primarily in Central America. They live along the Caribbean Coast inBelize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras including the mainland, and on the island of Roatán. There are also diaspora communities of Garinagu in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles,Miami, New York and other major cities. Today, the majority of Garifuna are officially Catholic but there are some that are following other religions. Garifuna is an Arawakan language spoken in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua by the Garifuna people. Their language is primarily derived from Arawak and Carib, with English, French and Spanish to a lesser degree. One interesting feature of Garifuna is a vocabulary split between terms used only by men and terms used only by women. Almost all Garifuna are bilingual or polylingual, speaking the official languages of the countries they inhabit such as Spanish, Kriol and English most commonly as a first language. There is a wide variety of Garifuna dishes, including the more commonly known ereba (cassava bread) made from grated cassava, garlic, yuca, and salt. Others include: bundiga (a plantain lasusu), mazapan, and bimecacule (sticky sweet rice). Garifuna music is quite different from the rest of Central America. The most famous form is punta. Its associated musical style, which has the dancers move their hips in a circular motion. It is performed around holidays and at parties and other social events. Punta lyrics are usually composed by the women. Other forms of Garifuna music and dance include: chumba, hungu-hungu, combination, wanaragua, abaimahani, matamuerte, laremuna wadaguman,...
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