Garifuna Dance Company Joins Performers in Remembering Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away at Mexican Day of The Dead Festival on SATURDAY, October 31st 2015 in Corona, Queens

 

Corona, Queens  — In an expression of solidarity with Mesoamerican, Latin American and Caribbean cultures and peoples; The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York will join performers in an expressed rememberance of loved ones lost at the Annual Mexican Day of The Dead Festival on SATURDAY, October 31st 2015 at Corona Plaza in Corona, Queens.  The event is FREE and Open to the Public.

Copyright 2015 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

There will be activities taking place throughout the day from 2pm until 7pm at Corona Plaza in Queens.   Food, Dancing, Singing, Education and rituals to celebrate an altar decorated and built by Corona community members in collaboration with artist Shellyne Rodriguez.  This year the altar is to commemorate loved ones who have passed away and also victims of police brutality.

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.

Schedule of 2015 Day of The Dead Festival at Corona Plaza is as follows:

2pm:  Altar Public Offerings / Ofendas por el publico

2pm to 6pm: Teach-in on Prison Abolition by Critical Resistance, IMI Corona & Radio Katari

3:30pm: Blessing & Dance Ceremony / Bendicion y Danza – Danza Azteca Chichimeca

4:30pm: Music & Dance / Musica y Danza — Ecuador Sumag LLacta

4pm through 7pm: DJ Luis Rosas

5pm: Messages from / Mensajes y organizacion por Mujeres en Movimiento e IMI Corona

5:30pm: Dance / Danza — Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York

Members of The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York at the 2014 Garifuna Tribute To The Ancestors.  Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein's Facebook Profile.

Members of The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York at the 2014 Garifuna Tribute To The Ancestors. Photo courtesy of Casa Yurumein’s Facebook Profile.

A press release from the organizers of this Day of The Dead Festival states,

“The Day of the Dead Celebration is an opportunity to bring cultural traditions to public space and to gather in reflection to take a message of hope to our community. Overall we highlight indigenous rituals from the American continent that honor our ancestors and their struggles for social justice. These memories about their struggles are our heritage to continue organizing and build a conscious and united community. During the day we will commemorate those who are no longer with us and we will stand in solidarity with the families, friends and communities of those who are victims of police brutality not only in New York but also in our countries.”  #Black&BrownSolidarity

 

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.

Garinagu have their own cultural traditions with respect to how they honor the dead or the ancestors.  From what I have witnessed, there are variables that one should consider when studying how Garinagu honor the dead, particularly the religious faith of the Garifuna person.  In fact, Garifuna cultural and spiritual traditions with regard to honoring or venerating the dead have been subject to academic study.  I’ll write about it again some other time.  However, it will be interesting to note just what the Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York chooses to do as part of this Mexican Day of The Dead festival.

Corona Plaza is located at Roosevelt Avenue, National St and 103rd Street / 104th Street

 


This event is organized in collaboration with Immigrant Movement International and residents of Corona.

About Day Of The Dead / Dia de Muertos

According to Wikipedia, this Mexican holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who died, and help support their spiritual journey.  In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of The Intangible List of The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.  1

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.

Here is a brief overview of The Mexican Day of The Dead observance as presented by the Hispanic Cultural Center.

About The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York 

Founded in 2009, The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York exists to express the dance and music of a people whose language, dance and music was designated an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.  This Garifuna Dance company is named after Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer, who was the leader of Garifuna (then known as Black Caribs) resistance against European encroachment on Garifuna land on the island of St. Vincent in the late 1700s.

One of three Garifuna American Dance Companies based in New York City, The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York notably became one of the few American based Garifuna American Dance Companies who have performed internationally. In November of 2013, they performed in Belize for 2013 Belize Garifuna Settlement Day festivities.

The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York performing in Belize for 2013 Garifuna Settlement Day Festivities.  Photo from Facebook.

The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York performing in Belize for 2013 Garifuna Settlement Day Festivities. Photo from Facebook.

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 cultural fusion of race and ethnicities on 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.   2

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.



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 Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.  Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

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.


 

Portrait of The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York at the Tribute to Garifuna Ancestors at Orchard Beach in the Bronx in June 2014.  Photo by Milton Guity.

Portrait of The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York at the Tribute to Garifuna Ancestors at Orchard Beach in the Bronx in June 2014. Photo by Milton Guity.

Notes:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead
  2. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website