Garifuna Settlement Day 2007

By the Naturalight Team

Every year on November 19th, the small sea-front town of Dangriga celebrates the first arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize in 1832.

Highlighting the festivities is the "Yurumei", an early-morning re-enactment of the Garifuna arriving by boat to the Dangrigan shores. Aboard boats are men and women dressed in traditional clothing, paddling in from the sea on vessels decorated with the traditional black, yellow and white colors of the Garifuna flag. The beating of drums and traditional Garifuna chorus echoes across the water to the gigantic crowd waiting in anticipation of this annual event. Keeping with tradition, most of the crowd has not made it to their beds, as celebrations generally commence days before the 19th and continue on throughout the night.

The arts dominate Settlement weekend events, allowing talented local musicians to entertain Belizeans and visitors with their cultural passion through song and dance. Music is not the only street-side exhibit however; the scent of traditional Garifuna cuisine permeates the atmosphere to give Dangriga a true Belizean cultural flavor, one that catches the eye, the ears and the taste buds.

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Images Courtesy of:

  • Tony Rath

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