Thursday, November 19, 2015

11-19-2015 Garifuna Settlement Day in Hopkins

Garifuna is the dominant culture here in Hopkins, and November 19th is a national holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the day the Garinagu (as the people are called) arrived in Belize.  (Here is a good link to more info on the Garifuna history)  This holiday has most festivities occurring in Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda.  We stayed in Hopkins to see what goes on here.

We did go to the all night concert the night before, but due to an unusual circumstance the bands that usually play here were in Dangriga.  They did come play later, but they were just setting up when we called it quits at 2 am.

Cara did make it out to the beach by the church at 7 am to see the re-enactment of the arrival.  There were only a few people
there at first, but there were loads of people by the time things got going at about 7:30 am.

First sighting of the boats

Cara saw lots of friends on the beach, and she was asked to get a picture of these two cuties.
That's Amon holding Kaya.

The boats made two passes near the beach before finally landing and coming ashore.

Those on the boat were drumming, singing, and carrying cassava, plantain, and sugarcane.

Amon chasing Kaya

Kaya playing in the sand while the re-enactment occurs.

On shore people were also drumming and singing (and taking pictures galore).

The boats finally landed and everyone disembarked.

The boaters ceremonially asked the "governor" for permission to land, then drumming and singing continued.

The procession continued drumming and singing all the way into the Catholic church (the white building in the distance at
left), where a church service was then held.

Cara hung out with friends for a while, then went home and took a nap.  There was supposed to be a parade through town around 2 pm so we both went back to check it out.

It started raining shortly after we go to the event palapa, so the parade was cancelled, but there was plenty of drumming,
singing and dancing going on.

Lots of girls go to classes to learn the traditional dances, and several performed here.

The stage was then moved into the center and it turned to traditional drumming and singing.  All the Garinagu know the
words to the songs, and almost all of them were singing along.

Later that night we went to Swinging Armadillos and listened to more great local music.

Walking up to our door we scared up a crab.  Good thing our friend's dog
wasn't around or the crab would have been history!

But Tango wasn't there, so the crab lived another night.
It was a long, tiring day, but it was tons of fun!  We don't know how the locals do it though.  Most stayed up all night for the previous night's concert, then went directly to the re-enactment, followed by church, then partying all day (and all night again for some).

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