2015 MS GARIFUNA Pageant in LOS ANGELES To Take Place on SATURDAY November 7th 2015

 

Los Angeles, California — In an contest expressing and celebrating Garifunadüo (“The Garifuna Way” in the Garifuna Language) amongst women of Garifuna heritage in Southern California, The 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant will be taking place in Los Angeles on SATURDAY, November 7th 2015.

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

Presented by Itah Lien Waduguni Productions, (According to the Ms Garifuna Los Angeles Pageant Organizers, “Itah Lien Waduguni” translates to, “This is how we do it” in the Garifuna Language), this  2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles is one tactic that it is hoped, will help to revive Garifuna culture or encourage the outward expression of aspects of Garifuna culture in the Los Angeles, California area.


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In an email interview with one of the behind-the-scenes organizers of this unique Garifuna event, Miss Amanda Nana Palacio, offered some context into what it is Itah Lien Waduguni Productions (a new organization as of 2015) are trying to accomplish with the 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant.  Specifically she explained that they “hope to accomplish preservation with this pageant.  Itah Lien Waduguni is all about preserving Garifuna culture and Garifuna traditions”.

I was aware of prior Ms Garifuna Pageants in Los Angeles, but apparently they were suspended a few years back and they no longer took place.  When I asked about what brought this organization to try and bring back the Ms Garifuna Pageant, Miss Amanda Nana Palacio offered,

“We had annual Ms Garifuna pageants in Los Angeles until about five years ago.  Mrs. Martha Martinez, founder of the Garifuna Cultural Group here in Los Angeles always produced the Ms Garifuna Pageants in Los Angeles.  When she stopped producing the pageants, we (Itah Lien Waduguni Productions) decided that we want to continue the Ms Garifuna Pageant tradition because that’s what we grew up on.” – Miss Amanda Nana Palacio

Contestants for the 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles include:

America Zunica – Ms Hopkins, Belize

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Amenica Zunica (Ms Hopkins, Belize).

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Amenica Zunica (Ms Hopkins, Belize).

Cindy Antolina Nunez – Ms Labuga, Guatemala

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Cindy Antolina Nunez (Ms Labuga, Guatemala)

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Cindy Antolina Nunez (Ms Labuga, Guatemala)

Courtney J. Sabal – Ms South Dangriga, Belize

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Courtney J. Sabal (Ms South Dangriga, Belize)

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Courtney J. Sabal (Ms South Dangriga, Belize)

Erica Garcia – Ms. Honduras (La Ceiba, Honduras)

No Photo Available.


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.


Iniki Nasario – Ms North Dangriga, Belize

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Iniki Nasario (Ms. North Dangriga, Belize)

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Iniki Nasario (Ms. North Dangriga, Belize)

Tisha Lopez – Ms Meriga (United States of America)

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Tisha Lopez (Ms Meriga - United States of America)

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles Contestant, Tisha Lopez (Ms Meriga – United States of America)

Going further, Miss Amanda Nana Palacio talked about the meaning behind bringing events like the 2015 Ms. Garifuna Pageant back before the public in the United States.

“Here in the United States of America isn’t like it is back home, which for me is Dangriga, Belize.  There, Garifuna people as well as others interested and intrigued by Garifuna culture, can enjoy the drumming activities as well as other festivities every day leading up to the November 19th Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration in Belize.  We have to create and make time for our Garifuna holiday.” — Miss Amanda Nana Palacio

Being that Itah Lien Waduguni Productions is a new organization, (It was created earlier this year), their production of the 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant is an ambitious step in the right direction.  Hopefully, enough of the public is interested in attending this unique Garifuna event.

The 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles will take place at:

Salaam Temple

1131 W. Manchester Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90044

Doors open at 6:30pm and the show is scheduled to begin at 7pm.  Tickets are available for $15 beforehand and $20 at the Door.  For more information or to buy tickets, please call: (424) 603-9011 or (323) 303-1000

The 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles will feature a LIVE Performance by Paranda Singer Clayton C-Wills Williams from Belize, Central America.

Below is a promotional video about the 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles.  In it, the young ladies introduce themselves in the Garifuna Language (mostly) and Dance. The video also includes commentary by Mrs. Martha Martinez, a significant Garifuna figure in the Los Angeles area.  She speaks in the Garifuna Language and the video doesn’t come with subtitles so that those who do not know the Garifuna Language could understand what is being said.

I am familiar with the Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant in New York City, but am not familiar enough with how it is done in Los Angeles to know whether there are differences in how this contest is carried out in Los Angeles versus in New York City.  For example, the New York City edition of the Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant, consists of three segments / sections.

  1. Introduction — Each contestant delivers a monologue where they introduce themselves to the audience in the Garifuna Language.  Typically, they give their name, talk about the town they are from or representing and also talk about their family history.
  2. Display of Talent — Here, each contestant acts out or mimes different aspects of Garifuna culture
  3. Quiz on Aspects of Garifuna Culture and / or History

Again, I am not familiar enough with how the Ms Garifuna Pageant is done in Los Angeles.  But the 2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles promo video below should be somewhat instructive.

Mrs. Martha Martinez of The Garifuna Cultural Group of Los Angeles is listed as a Senior Collaborating Advisor and a Mrs. Delita is listed as a collaborative advisor.

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.   1

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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.


2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles to take place on SATURDAY November 7th 2015

2015 Ms Garifuna Pageant in Los Angeles to take place on SATURDAY November 7th 2015

 

Notes:

  1. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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