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November 19th: Garifuna Settlement Day

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Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!

garifuna drumming belize
Belize Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration 2015

Every year on November 19, Belize raises the yellow, white and black flag of the Garifuna population and celebrates this thriving culture, descendants of the numerous Black Caribs that first reached Belize in 1832.

After being displaced following defeat by the British on the island of St. Vincent, these offspring of slaves and Carib Indians found a home along the shores of Belize. Though the initial settlements on the coast were self-sustaining, the Garifuna eventually integrated with and became indispensable members of Belizean society.

>> Read also: Garifuna Life in Belize

On this day, across the villages of Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Hopkins and others, the most exciting celebrations take place. It begins with the arrival of the dory, a dug-out canoe, in which Garifuna reenact the landing of their ancestors on the shores of the country. From there, it’s a non-stop whirlwind of live music, parades and a profusion of the Garifuna’s traditional cuisine.

Photo by: Lebawit Lily Girma

November 19th: Garifuna Settlement Day by

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