The film considers the effects of colonization, slavery, genocide, and exile as they continue to reverberate across generations, but also beautifully highlights the central role of dance, drumming, and food ways in diasporal survival and revival. This film will be a great resource for any student of Caribbean history or culture.
– Monica Hairston O’Connell, Ph.D. Executive Director
Center for Black Music Research
Columbia College Chicago
The Caribs of St. Vincent, a new documentary from independent filmmaker Andrea Leland, recounts the painful past of the Carib people on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent – their extermination at the hands of the British, the decimation of their culture on the island, and the exile of survivors to Central America. But the Carib story does not end there…
The film also captures the powerful moment of homecoming for descendants of the St. Vincent Caribs, when members of the National Garifuna Folkloric Ballet from Honduras makes an official pilgrimage (organized by both governments) to St. Vincent. The trauma and painful dislocation that the returning Garifuna dancers experience, especially when they visit Balliceux (the site where over 3,000 Caribs were massacred in 1793), becomes a celebration of reunification, and incites the beginnings of a movement among Garifuna people to revitalize their traditional language, music, dance, and rituals. As Garifuna from around the world come together to remember and celebrate the lives and resilience of their shared ancestors, they also begin to discover possibility and hope for the future of Garifuna culture and community.
In 2001, UNESCO (United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) awarded the Garifuna community the title: “Proclamation of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” YURUMEIN includes a SURROUND SOUND soundtrack with Garifuna music by Andy Palacio and Rhodee Castillo and additional music by Abuza from St. Vincent & the Grenadines.