(VIDEO) GARIFUNA Singer Songwriter ANDY PALACIO’s Acceptance Speech at 2007 World Music Expo (WOMEX) Awards

 

Sevilla, Spain — Below you will find the link to the video of Garifuna Singer Musician ANDY PALACIO’s acceptance speech at the 2007 WOMEX Awards (World Music Expo).

Copyright 2016 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

I came upon this speech while doing research on ANDY PALACIO over the internet.  While I was aware that he received many accolades (including this award) in light of the release of his album Watina, I hadn’t ever heard or saw this speech.  In fact, I did not know that it was available.   What an eloquent speech!

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According to wikipedia, The World Music Expo (WOMEX) “is an international world music support and development project based in Berlin, whose main event is an exposition held annually in different locations throughout Europe. It integrates a trade fair, showcases, conferences, film market, networking sessions, and awards. Musicians and their works have the possibility to make contacts for international touring and album distribution.”  1

 

Click here to see the video of Garifuna Singer ANDY PALACIO’s acceptance speech at the 2007 WOMEX Awards, which both he and Producer Ivan Duran won. The 2007 WOMEX Awards took place on October 28th 2007 in Sevilla, Spain.  The video is in English and Garifuna.  Or you can try and watch it below.

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Apparently, the video was taken down and is no longer available.  When I go to the link and press play, nothing happens.  Below is a transcript of ANDY PALACIO’s 2007 WOMEX Award acceptance speech.

“I humbly thank the World Music Expo for honouring my producer, Ivan Duran and me today, in the presence of our friends and colleagues of the World Music Community. I see this award not so much as a personal endorsement but in fact as an extraordinary and sincere validation of a concept in which artists such as myself take up the challenge to make music with a higher purpose that goes beyond simple entertainment. I accept this award on behalf of my fellow artists from all over the world with the hope that it will serve to reinforce those sentiments that fuel cultures of resistance and pride in one’s own.”


“The true heroes behind my music are really those first Garifuna fighters who, in the 18th Century, on the island of Yurumei (St. Vincent) stood up against slavery, colonization and cultural domination, choosing to keep their identity and remain the Garifuna Nation. Many, including Paramount Chief Joseph Chattoyer, paid the ultimate price.”


“Then came those who survived that genocide and were forcibly relocated to the Caribbean coast of Central America. This award honours those mothers and fathers who have passed on this legacy (including our language, music, dance, folklore and spirituality) to their children, that we today may add to the richness and diversity that makes our world a better place for all. Left to the formal educational systems, this may never have happened.”


“Generations of Garifuna composers and musicians such as the inspiring and legendary Belizean parandero, Paul Nabor have kept Garifuna music alive, purely as a means of expressing our deepest emotions. In today’s world, however, Garifuna music has taken on the additional role of contributing to the socio-economic development not only of its practitioners, but indeed to the very nations of which we are citizens, making our contributions in just about every field, including Education, Governance, Commerce, Entertainment and Tourism.”

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“As I stand here, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for all those who have supported my ambitions along the way. Reuben Palacio, my father, inspired me with the love of music from a very early age. I wish he were here today. Cleofa Avilez, my mother, along with all the people of the Village of Barranco have given me love and the gift of Garifunaness of which I am so proud and for that I am also grateful.”


“Along the way, I have been blessed to meet and work with the many talented composers and musicians who make up the Garifuna Collective. Today, I thank all of them for their numerous contributions that have resulted in the release of Watina, which, I have been told, is believed to be a work of excellence.”


“I too pay tribute to Ivan Duran who spent years perfecting the sound on Watina. And to the hard working crew Stonetree Records (along with Jacob Edgar and our friends at Cumbancha) for making this all happen.”
“I may not have been standing here were it not for the vision that has resulted in a cultural renaissance in Belize under the leadership of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and for the unwavering support afforded me by Prime Minister Said Musa and his Government, I will be eternally grateful as I also am to the governments and people of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize.”


“Above all, rutina seremei (I give thanks) luagu houbadina sun garinagu (on behalf of all Garinagu) houn hahari wayunagu luma Bungiu Baba (to our ancestors and the Almighty Father) luagu hadeiweihan woun (for the many gifts and blessings) le agudahabaliwa luagu sun dan le (that has sustained us through the ages. Seremei nia hun. Thank you.”    —  ANDY PALACIO  Acceptance Speech at 2007 WOMEX Awards

 

About ANDY PALACIO   2

 (December 2nd 1960 – January 19th 2008)

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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.   3

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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 through the PAYPAL website, so potential donations are SAFE and SECURE. 


 

Garifuna Singer Songwriter ANDY PALACIO giving his acceptance speech of the 2007 WOMEX (World Music Expo)  Award.

Garifuna Singer Songwriter ANDY PALACIO giving his acceptance speech of the 2007 WOMEX (World Music Expo) Award.

Notes:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WOMEX
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Palacio
  3. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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