The Garifuna Journey

A first voice testimony celebrating the resiliency of the Garifuna people and their traditions.

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… a sensitive, balanced portrait of Garifuna ritual life and identity.

—Mark Moberg, Ph.D.
American Anthropologist

Synopsis:

A first voice testimony celebrating the resiliency of the Garifuna people and their traditions. Shot entirely in Belize, the filmmakers worked closely with Garifuna tradition bearers, anthropologists and cultural activists during the research, scripting, production and editing phases of this project. The documentary resulting from this “outsider and insider” collaboration is the first of its kind, one that captures the triumph of spirit of the Garifuna people.

Descendants of African and Carib-Indian ancestors, the Garifuna fought to maintain their homeland and resisted slavery. For this love of freedom, they were exiled by the British in 1797. Despite exile and subsequent Diaspora, their traditional culture survives today. It is a little known story that deserves its place in the annals of the African Diaspora. In authentic Garifuna voices, this documentary presents the history, the language, food, music, dance and spirituality of the Garifuna culture. It is a celebratory documentary, with engaging scenes of fishing, cooking, dancing, cassava preparation, thatching a temple, spiritual ritual, ritual music and dance all demonstrating the Garifuna link to the Carib-African past.

In May of 2001, the United Nations awarded the Garifuna community the title: Proclamation of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.