Guatemalan GARIFUNA People Honor Patroness Saint, The VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE on FRIDAY December 12th 2014 and SATURDAY, December 13th 2014 in Bronx With PORORO Party Celebrations

 

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Bronx, New York — PORORO, a kickoff to the Holiday Fiesta Season which lasts from December until New Year’s, is a Guatemalan Garifuna Celebration of ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’ or the ‘Virgin of Guadalupe’, which is associated with a pictorial image which can be found in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico.  The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic site in the world and the third most visited sacred site in the world.  This celebration takes place once a year near or on December 12th. This day is one of the most important days of the year for Mexicans and Catholics in Latin America.   1

The Virgin of Guadalupe, (otherwise known as the Indigenous Virgin Mary) is one of the most famous and celebrated religious symbols in the world. In fact, she is the Patroness Saint Of Mexico and the contenintal Americas. According to the legend, on the morning of December 9th 1531, she appeared in a vision (as a maiden) before Juan Diego (an Aztec Indian Peasant) on a hill in Tepeyac, Mexico.  2

Speaking to Mr. Diego in his native Natuatl language, she asked that a church be built at that very place in her honor.  Mr. Juan Diego interpreted that request as coming from the Virgin Mary herself.  Juan Diego then told of his experience to the Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumarraga.  The archbishop then told Juan Diego to return to the hill in Tepeyac, Mexico and ask the ‘lady’ for a miracu/ous sign to prove her identity.   3

According to legend, the first sign was the healing of Juan Diego’s uncle.  Then, the Virgin told Juan Dieco to gather flowers from the top of the hill in Tepeyac, Mexico.  At the top of the hill, Juan Diego found Castilian roses, which are NOT native to Mexico.  They are from SPAIN.  Not only that, but these roses were blooming in December on a hilltop that is normally as dry as a desert.  4

The Virgin arranged the roses in his tilma (cloak), and when Juan Diego opened his cload befero Bishop Zumarraga on December 12th, the flowers fell to the floor, and on the fablic of the tilma was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe!!!  5

 

 

 

Garifunas are from Guatemala as well as the neighboring Central American countries of Belize to the North and Honduras and Nicaragua to the South, so it is interesting to see their version of an Indigenous celebration. Or to put it another way, it’s intriguing to see an example of Indigenous heritage as expressed by Garifunas.

December 12th, The Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe typically begins with a Morning Mass.   The Mass ends to the sound of explosive drums and rhythmic blowing of a conch shell.  According to Hilary E. Kahn, Professor and Director of The Center for Global Change at Indiana University (and the only person I could find who has written extensively about the Pororo celebration, which she did in her 2006 book, “Seeing and Being Seen: The Q’eqchi Maya of Livingston, Guatemala and Beyond”), young children in indigenous dress “dance frantically in front of the altar, up and down the aisle, screaming, laughing, and bouncing with the beat.”  6

Hundreds of participants in this activity then proceed to form a procession out the church, into the streets, through the town center, culminating in the town gymnasium dancing and playing music the entire time.

Pororo in the port town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

Pororo 2012 in the port town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.  Take note of the indigenous outfits worn by some of the participants.  The red sash across  the waists of children, the corte (Mayan skirt), the huipils (Mayan blouse).

.Pororo 2010 in the Town Gymnasium in Livingston, Guatemala.

In New York City, Pororo takes on a slightly different tone but the purpose is still the same as far as I can tell.  In essence, an expression of indigenous-ness.  Below is promotional video featuring Garifuna American band Legacy Gifted at a Pororo celebration.  Check out the circular, whirling dance at the end of this video.

Below is another video faaturing mostly Garifuna performers at the 2011 Pororo concert celebration in the Bronx.

Finally here’s video of the 2012 Pororo Celebration in the Bronx. This video features Garifuna American Singer Eddy GNG from Guatemala.

This year’s  Pororo concert as presented by Garifuna promoters Herber Smooth and Esly Promotion will take place os FRIDAY, December 12th 2014 at:

Social Gathering Palace (a.k.a. “Best Party Place”)

3405 Third Avenue (between E. 166th St and E. 167th St)

Bronx, New York 10456

Featured Talent incliudes:

Xcstacy Band

Don Cuellar

Socie Gck

Gx Team

Music by Dj Roy

For more information, call (646) 248-0573 and / or  (347) 282-8559

Doors Open at 10pm. 19 to Party, 21 to Drink.  ID is Required.  Dress To Impress.

Here is information about another PORORO Celebration taking place in the Bronx on SATURDAY, December 13th 2014.

Guatemalan Garifuna PORORO Celebration in the Bronx on SATURDAY, December 13th 2014

Guatemalan Garifuna PORORO Celebration in the Bronx on SATURDAY, December 13th 2014

Featured Performers include, Eddy GNG, Don Cuellar, and Legacy Gifted.  Music will be by Planamu Sound and Dj Prime Time.  It will take place at:

578 NightClub

578 E. 161st Street (at St. Anns Avenue)

Bronx, New York  10456

2 or 5 Train to Prospect Avenue Subway Stop in the Bronx

Doors open at 9pm.

 

ABOUT The Garifuna People


The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men, 1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   7

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797; the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

2014 Garifuna Pororo Celebration in the Bronx on FRIDAY, December 12th 2014,

2014 Garifuna Pororo Celebration in the Bronx on FRIDAY, December 12th 2014,

Notes:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
  6. Hilary E. Kahn, “Seeing and Being Seen: The Q’eqchi Maya of Livingston, Guatemala and Beyond” pg 141. Copyright 2006 by the University of Texas Press.
  7. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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