Sunday, November 26, 2006

Día Garífuna

November 26th is the annual Día Garífuna in Livingston Guatemala. Apparently, shipwrecked African slave boats brought their ancestors to the island of St Vincent in the Caribbean sea in the 18th century. In 1796 they migrated from St Vincent to the island of Roatán (off the coast of Honduras), then to Eastern Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Most Garífuna now live in Livingston Guatemala and in New York City.

Every November 26th at 5am, the Garífuna in Livingston renact their arrival by boat to the dock in Livingston. They parade up mainstreet singing and dancing "punta" (vigorous booty shaking). Everybody goes to church, then the bars on mainstreat, where there is much merrymaking and Gifiti-drinking. Gifiti is a potion of rum, and various mystery herbs, "one that grows up and one that grows out," according to Pichi, Livingston native and herbal medicine practitioner.

Many Garífuna in Guatemala are trilingual; they speak their own language, Spanish, and English. I had several lovely conversations about the relative merits of Brooklyn vs Livingston.

6 comments:

erikamax said...

Now im really wishing i was there

Anonymous said...

Hi Nell, thanks for your comments and photographs of garifuna's day... i could "live" this day reading and seeing them. I'm in Cádiz now (cold humidity weather). And i think about you people!!
Please don't be evacuated before i go in January!! (it's confirmated by sede).

Kisses, kisses, kisses...

Ángeles

dysphoric said...

anon Angeles--

Puchica! que bueno el ingles suyo! estoy contenta que lleges. disfruta los vacaciones.

Anonymous said...

We miss you in nyc nelly. When will you wander back this way?

dysphoric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dysphoric said...

¡Saber! Tal vez voy en Abril. Espero que irme a La India despúes.
echo de menos a todos.