The rebirth of garifuna culture n language in st. Vincent and the grenadines

VINCYPOWA

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Assessing the Habinaha Garinagu Workshop

Author: The Vincentian
Published: 12/22/2011




Vincentian youths involved in a demonstration of the ‘punta’ dance during a workshop held here earlier this year. On January 7th 2012, Vincentian born author Trish St.Hill will be returning to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as Yurumein.

Ms. St.Hill was one of a group of six sponsors, from New York, who supported a historic Garifuna cultural retrieval workshop, in the Garifuna homeland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines this past summer.

The Workshop, according to St.Hill, was an effort to return to her homeland the Garifuna language and culture that had been lost to her people for over 214 years. The language and culture were suppressed and ultimately lost, after thousands of Garifuna citizens were exiled by the British to Central America in 1797. She said the workshop was brilliantly executed by James Lovell and Eleanor Bullock, both of whom are descendants of the exiled Garifuna people from Belize.
James Cordice, Kyla Herbert, and Verna Arthur along with James Lovell and Eleanor Bullock, were also sponsors of the programme.

While in St. Vincent, Ms. St.Hill said she plans to host a preview of a video with footage from the workshop and concert which had 85 participants. The preview would be held at Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown, St.Vincent on Sunday January 15th at 4:00 pm.

St.Hill said the preview will not only give the participants and general Vincentian public a chance to see their talent on display, but it will also give everyone a chance to hear from the participants how the program has impacted their lives. According to Ms. St.Hill, facilitators of the workshop hope to develop a documentary of the entire experience when she returns to New York.

Trish St.Hill said she is also working with members of the Garifuna community to develop a comprehensive Garifuna textbook for the Vincentian children. The textbook will approach the Garifuna Language from a Vincentian standpoint.

She went on to say that it is ironic that the Garifuna language is not spoken in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, which is the birthplace of the language. Although she acknowledged that the Garifuna language may never be the main language of the land, she hopes that it will be one of the spoken languages.

One of her dreams, said St.Hill, is to see the construction of a Garifuna academy named after Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer, and a full statue of this extraordinary leader, who died trying to save his people.

She credits the Gonsalves Government for doing much work to promote and retrieve the culture, but notes that there is still a lot of work to be done. While the workshop was invaluable in teaching key pieces of the culture to the Vincentian people, said St. Hill, Vincentian awareness of Garifuna must be credited to pioneers like former Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, culturists Nelcia Marshall-Robinson, and the Garifuna Heritage Foundation. She also acknowledges Mr. Anthony Theobalds for his enormous support of the culture.

“The time is now to bring our culture back fully,” said St. Hill, “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we will get there by the grace of God and our ancestors.”

SOURCE: THE VINCENTIAN.
 

VINCYPOWA

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I LOVE IT....YURUMEIN AWAITS U.

I know you're there earlier in the YEAR, but we WELCOME U ONCE more.

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I saw him do the NATIONAL ANTHEM of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the TOWN HALL MEETING at the FRIENDS OF CROWN HEIGHTS in BROOKLYN. I am TRULY IMPRESSED...that alone made the TRIP worthwhile.
 

VINCYPOWA

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This is the BEST TRANSLATION that I could get...it was WRITTEN in the GERMAN LANGUAGE

The Garifuna people of
a film by Stefan Schaaf

1635 capsized off the coast of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent two slave ships in a storm. Several dozen of the Africans who were abducted from Nigeria could get to shore - and thus began a little known and so much more fascinating story. The former slaves intermarried with the natives of the island, the Caribs, and thus were the "Garifuna." For over a century they lived as free men on their island, surrounded by hostile colonial powers like the British or the French, who relentlessly practiced slavery . And so the free Garifuna become real heroes of the Caribbean. But there were, unfortunately, tragic heroes, because eventually they were defeated by the overwhelming British and then rushed from island to island until they were finally in Central America settled. Today, the around . 100 000 Garifuna in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and not least the United States , you've managed to get through these national borders to their own culture and language, Igneri, - and that makes them true heroes of the Caribbean. The team the ARD studios in Mexico keeps track of the Garifuna of St. Vincent to Belize and travel so through almost the entire Caribbean. Especially their music is enjoying a renaissance internationally. And the culture of the Garifuna is one of the UNESCO in the rest of the masterpieces of " Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity ".
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VINCYPOWA

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hhxZkQsYKsY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

VINCYPOWA

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/68kMq0u3kLU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

VINCYPOWA

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<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sJx6hAS4K7g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

VINCYPOWA

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This is a REENACTMENT of the GARIFUNA PEOPLE of St. VINCENT, after their EXILE by the BRITISH to the island of ROATAN, who were finally allowed to come ASHORE on the MAINLAND of HONDURAS by the SPANISH GOVERNMENT, which they call GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAY.

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This REENACTMENT took place in GUATEMALA where the GARIFUNA PEOPLE have a STRIVING COMMUNITY as well.
 

VINCYPOWA

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Another DOCUMENTARY

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<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qYgQkH4S7cY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

VINCYPOWA

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/B7HK3Qh0efA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

VINCYPOWA

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<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RPLYIZJ9Els" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

MANNNN, I HOPE someone can TRANSLATE this to ENGLISH.
 

VINCYPOWA

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ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE to the ISLAND of BALLICEAUX.

This is the island, next to Bequia, that the BRITISH took over 5000 GARIFUNAS off MAINLAND ST. VINCENT after PARAMOUNT CHIEF of the GARIFUNAS (BLACK CARIBS) was KILLED, and then after SEVERAL MONTHS of CONTINUED FIGHTING, they SURRENDERED.

Over 2000 GARIFUNAS died on Balliceaux before the balance was sent into EXILE on the ISLAND of ROATAN off the coast of HONDURAS.
 

VINCYPOWA

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Have we dishonoured Greiggs?

Author: Edwin Johnson Published: 03/22/2012

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the birthplace of the wondrous Garifuna people – giving this country a unique disposition which thrills us with an imbued feeling of pride and honour. Every Vincentian is aptly proud of our Garifuna heritage and our national hero, the Hon Joseph Chatoyer.

On the 14th March each year, we celebrate the life and times of this great man and the people he marshaled. Contingents from the Garifuna Diaspora make special visits and pilgrimages to the place they call their ancestral mother-land, SVG.

But there are two important themes central to the Garifuna story and experience: on one hand the heroic survival of the garifuna in exile and - the miraculous preservation of the culture; and, on the other, the adamant defensive stance of those who refused the arrangement of exile, choosing rather to stay and fight to the death, even if it meant a losing cause of securing Hairouna as a home for ensuing generations of Garifunas.

And now enter the people of Greiggs! These unspoken-of heroes are hardly ever mentioned - if at all; they are spoken of glibly and treated as a side-show. All this against the fact that on the official map of SVG, Greiggs is the only place stated as the ‘Black Carib Reservation’, or Garifuna, as they ought always to be referred to.
Today, Garifuna, Calinago (Caribs), Blacks, Mulattos, Indians...and other races in our nation’s rainbow of peoples, are greatly assimilated, strung together by a common bond of love of country and culture. But we must give jack his jacket and give honour to whom honour is due!

The people of Greiggs carried for a long time a stigma that not even water and sufficient soap could help to wash off. Now that we have brought back the truth from oblivion where it shows that they have the proudest history, we should serve it up as a general Vincentian ‘glory story’. Sadly, we continue to blatantly ignore their (Greiggs descendents of the Garifuna) place in the face of glaring historical fact, which gives nothing less than glowing tribute to their heroics.

If anyone should be in doubt, go and read ‘The Rise and Fall of the Black Caribs’.
So National Heroes Day after National Heroes Day, Greiggs doesn’t feature on the programme of activities to mark that Day.

We don’t see any major events planned for Greiggs. Most official ceremonies take place beyond the Dry River, home of our brothers and sisters, the Calinago (Caribs), who history says did not fight with Chatoyer and the French, nor take up a defensive stance for the freedom of Hairouna when it mattered most. The English rewarded them by giving them stay on the island, but pushed them to occupy the inhospitable lands under the La Soufrierre volcano, with the hope perhaps that one day the erupting volcano could annihilate them.

Garifuna tribal life and culture continued in Greiggs long after the exile. They had chiefs that fought against the English, using guerilla warfare and tactics we see displayed by today’s militias. In fact, the proper name for Greiggs is the Massaricca Valley. Massaricca or massaraca means militia in the Garifuna language.

Here was the base and stronghold of the Garifuna army, committed to the clarion declaration: ‘We will never surrender!’ This fact was substantiated by a large Garifuna contingent on a pilgrimage here some years ago, a realization which brought tears to their eyes...as they finally found the missing puzzle to a long-asked question: ‘What happened to the Garifuna militia?’ and the accompanying question, “Where did they go?’

The Vincentian - LOCAL
 

VINCYPOWA

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SVG HOSTS INTERNATIONAL GARIFUNA CONFERENCE

Author: Gloriah Published: 03/19/2012


Left: Dr. Joseph Palacio speaking with visible emotion provided insight into Joseph Chatoyer's lineage. Right: Minister of Culture, Cecil Mckie and President of the TGHF David Darkie Williams also addressed the opening.

By A very prestigious conference with unprecedented implications for the future perception of the Garifuna people of Yuremei (St. Vincent), within St. Vincent and the Grenadines itself, in the Garifuna Diaspora and in the wider world, opened here last Saturday, March 10, at the Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

The International Garifuna Conference had as its theme: ‘Living the Garifuna Heritage and Culture After 215 Years – Strengthening Links, Forging Networks, Claiming Ancestral Space’. The main objective was elaborated as: ‘To gather in Yuremei, the birthplace of the Garifuna Nation, to share ideas, examine issues, network and strengthen global links to support the development of the International Garifuna Research Centre (IGRC) created to research, document and disseminate information on the history and culture of the Garifuna worldwide’.

According to Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Mike Browne, it was only some three months ago that his Committee met to implement the commitment and promise to hold the Conference. Bringing off the Conference, he said, called for tremendous effort. David “Darkie” Williams, President of the local Garirifuna Heritage Foundation (TGHF), told those gathered that it was the general consensus of the countries in which the Garifuna people still reside that a conference of such proportions be convened in Yuremei, the Garifuna name for St. Vincent .

Addresses

Minister of Culture, Hon. Cecil “Ces” McKie, gave glowing congratulations to the TGHF, crediting it with the expected “significant change in the landscape of Garifuna culture over the next few days”.

Minister McKie recounted the Garifuna story, giving painful details of their decimation, capture and exile from their homeland. He reminded that some 5,080 Garifuna were taken to Balliceaux after the 2nd Carib War, but that only 2,248 s subsequently left for Roatan Island.

“We will let our minds roam on what has been our history, what is our current status, and what is our way forward!” he passionately announced.
President of the TGHF, David “Darkie” Williams opined that his Foundation has helped to “break down some of the shyness and resistance of speaking about Garifuna issues.”

Referring to the Garifuna as a “nation across borders,” he remarked that, “its tentacles stretch across many, many countries,” but that, “Garifuna people need a space to speak among themselves to themselves, to families and to neighbours; to express joy at the celebration of our achievements.” .

Tracing Chatoyer’s lineage

Dr. Joseph Palacio, an anthropologist and independent consultant from Belize is a proud Garifuna. He gave the audience a very stirring feature address, caption: ‘Continuity in Body and Soul Between Yuremei and Central America’.
He sited Garifuna interpretations for the place and functions of the body and the soul, as “philosophy borrowed from the Garifuna spirituality
What followed was a veritable history lesson founded on a depth of exploration, undertaken by the speaker, which detailed the geneanology of the Garifuna in SVG.

Of major interest was Dr. Palacio’s recount of finding individuals in Chatoyer’s direct lineage, in Belize. He told of the story of Holisi, Chatoyer’s daughter, which was given to him by a descendent several generations away. He was able to receive names of three of Holisi’s twelve children.
The way in which Holisi kept the Garifuna story alive was also revealed showing the passion with which she woke her children during the night, imploring them to never forget the hard times her people went through in Yuremei.

“Yuremei is our Mecca!” he hailed as he reminded the audience that “the struggles of the Garifuna is not the only struggle on record, and that we are not alone. The Garifuna people is only an example of other kinds of depravation,” he said.

Garifuna Centre

The Conference, which culminated on March 14, also heard presentations from persons from United states, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
On Tuesday, 13th March, the Garifuna Research Centre was opened in Arnos Vale. It will be utilized as a store house for Garifuna information; a place where persons may access relevant information on Garifuna studies. This will be instrumental in helping to chart the way forward for our indigenous people.
The Vincentian - LOCAL
 
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