Garifuna cultural retrieval efforts

The Yurumein Garifuna Cultural Retrieval group (YuGaCuRe) presents a fundraising concert, “A Day in the Life of a Garifuna Woman” at the African American Museum at 110 North Franklin Ave. in Hempstead, LI at 3:00 p.m.on March 10.

The concert promises to be an exciting and educational event with live music, drumming and storytelling by Garifuna singer/musician James Lovell, Garifuna dancer Miriam Suazo and a spellbinding performance of “A Day in the Life of a Garifuna Woman” by Sonia Charles.

Videos of performances at Barrouallie, St.Vincent, a pivotal town during the reign of the Garifuna, at Sandy Bay, a popular Kallinago and Garifuna village, and at historic Balliceaux, the island prison where the Garifuna people were interned before being exiled to Roatan, will be on display, and patrons can enjoy delectable, authentic Garifuna cuisine.

The event will take place one day before the official start of Garifuna Heritage Month, which runs from March 11 to April 12.

RSVP to Trish St.Hill at 347. 488. 4397 or email Trish at [email protected] or [email protected].

History:

The Garifunas are a hybrid people of African, Carib and Arawak descent who originated on the island of St.Vincent; but who spread to other parts of the Caribbean and the Americas. In 1797, 5000 Garifuna men, women and children were imprisoned by the British on the tiny barren island of Balliceaux (pronounced Ba-lee-so), off the coast of St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Eight months later they were exiled to Roatan Island which is now a part of Honduras.

The Garifuna remaining in St.Vincent lost their language and much of their culture after the British ordered their soldiers to shoot to kill anyone who spoke the Garifuna language, that kept them at bay for many years.

Miraculously the language and culture survived among the Garinagu (plural for Garifuna), even in exile.

The YuGaCuRe initiative to retrieve the Garifuna language and culture to its historic homeland of St.Vincent and the Grenadines is spearheaded by Vincentian writer/publisher Trish St.Hill and Belizean musician/singer James Lovell.

It involves a month-long workshop in St.Vincent and the Grenadines at which children and adults have an oppportunity experience the culture: language, music, dance, drumming, food and history of the Garifuna.

The official close of the workshop will be marked by a visit to the island of Balliceaux where the Garinagu people were interred.

Tax-deductible donations to the Garifuna Cultural retrieval efforts may be made through the YuGaCuRe fiscal sponsor, ELA (Endangered Language Alliance) at: endangeredlanguagealliance.org/main/yurumein-garifuna-cultural-retrieval.

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