Copyright 2014 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.
Belize, Central America — Paranda Singer Musician, Garifuna Man PAUL NABOR was recently admitted into a hospital in Belize City after falling ill from a Pneumonia and some dehydration. He is now recovering in Punta Gorda, Belize. Punta Gorda is a small Garifuna town on the coast of southern Belize.
I learned about Mr. Nabor being ill a few weeks ago from a post on Facebook from Garifuna musician Emilio Thomas. Los Angeles based non-profit organization, GAHFU (Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United) also posted notice on the garifunalink email listserv. At the time, I googled Mr. Paul Nabor and nothing came up as far as news organizations reporting on the story so I waited until I could get some sort of confirmation.
According to 7 News Belize, Mr. Paul Nabor was flown into Belize City by air ambulance from Punta Gorda, where he lives. Mr. Nabor was given a CATSCAN because doctors initially thought he had a stroke. The scan was negative for a stroke and Mr. Nabor was flown back to Punta Gorda as was his wish. Darius Avila, a Punta Gorda based cultural activist who is helping to oversee the care of Mr. Nabor, said that he’s doing better and they hope for a full recovery. They hope to throw a party for Mr. Nabor on Punta Gorda Day on February 1st 2014.
UPDATE: On January 25th 2014, 7 News Belize reported that “Paranda Legend Paul Nabor is back in the hospital. The 85 year old Punta Gorda Resident was re-admitted to the Punta Gorda hospital yesterday. His friend and care giver Darius Avila tells us that the doctors say that he is still weak and his condition has not improved but he remains stable. 10 days ago we reported that he was diagnosed with broncho-pneumonia. Duie to his advanced age, doctors have said it ids best not to move him at this time, and they’ll have to wait a few days to see if he improves. Nabor will be 86 on Sunday January 26th.”
“His legion of fans will be celebrating his birthday on Sunday January 26th 2014, with a 7:30 am mass at St. Peter Claver Church in Punta Gorda Town, Belize. Then, on Saturday, February 1, 2014 they will have a major Paranda concert in his honour at the Punta Gorda Sports Complex.”
“Proceeds from the concert will be donated to Nabor to assist with his medical expenses and care. Organizers will also be accepting birthday gifts in the form of cash or kind for the legend.”
Born on January 26th 1930, Mr. Paul Nabor is a Garifuna Singer, Songwriter and Musician from Belize. He performs the musical genre of Paranda, which is an art form some feel is dying out as few musicians play that style of music. Garifuna Music Star Aurelio Martinez is one of the few musicians still playing Paranda music.
In 2004, Mr. Paul Nabor was bestowed with the honor of being declared a distinguished guest during a visit to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He was the recipient of a proclamation saying such.
In 2011, Mr. Paul Nabor became the beneficiary of a monthly pension from the Belize Government In Honor of His Lifetime Contribution to World Music.
According to the liner notes of the Paranda album released by StoneTree Records, “Paranda is both a Garifuna rhythm and a genre of music. The basic rhythm can be heard in Garifuna traditional drumming styles that date all the way back to St. Vincent and West Africa. Paranda became a genre itself in the 19th century, shortly after the Garifuna arrived in Honduras. It was there where they first encountered Latin music, and incorporated the acoustic guitar and a touch of Latin and Spanish rhythms into the music. Paranda reached its prominence in the early part of the 20th century, and has changed little since. Its instrumentation is totally acoustic, “Garifuna Unplugged”: large wooden Garifuna drums called ‘Primero’ and ‘Segunda’, shakers, scrapers, turtle shell, percussion and acoustic guitar.”
You could probably say that Paranda (or traditional Garifuna music, PERIOD) is equivalent to the Blues genre of music in America.
Naguya Nei is the song most associated with Mr. Paul Nabor. In fact, it’s a Garifuna anthem performed by most (if not all) musicians who still play Paranda music. It’s pretty much a standard at this point. According to the belize.mybelize.net website, Mr. Paul Nabor wrote this moving song when his sister was on her deathbed. “She had asked to be remembered in song at her funeral. The song has become almost an anthem in Punta Gorda. Nabor has expressed that he would like the funeral procession to sing this song at his burial as well.”
Naguya Nei (“I Am Moving On” in the Garifuna Language) song.
Nati nuguya merumayatina
Wanwa nuguya merumayatina
Balabada naru tura nigabana nay
Lau nuragu le hadan hara familia
Ayanuhayatina hama namulenu (x2)
Dame le gia nowen wanwa
Lauba la banda habunana
Hawagu namulenu naritagua
Hawagu nisanigu naritagua
Brother, I am ill
Dear Brother, I am ill
I have tossed and turned in my bed
With this ailment in the presence of my family
I have spoken with my children
Dear Brother when I pass away
They must have a band at my funeral
It is my little ones I’m worried about
It is my children I’m worried about
Published by StoneTree Records (BMI)
Beinggarifuna.com wishes a speedy recovery to Parandero Paul Nabor.