We had the opportunity to see the Garifuna drummers while we were in Hopkins at the Lebeha Drumming Center. They are Belizean National Champions. The type of drumming they do is traditional Garifuna and Punta Rock. The group drumming for us were 12-13 years old. We also got the extra treat of their instructors joining them for a few rounds.
It seems cliché to say, but you can really ‘feel’ the tradition of this drumming. The Garifuna are one of indigenous cultures of Belize (Belize’s culture is so varied…there isn’t just one indigenous group). Garifuna are of Carib Indian, African, and Arawak Indian decent. I find them to be a very interesting and friendly. They seem very open to sharing their culture and food (more about their food in a future post…let’s just say the dish I had wasn’t exactly familiar to my palette). I found this great write-up about their history here and rather than trying to recite things I’ve heard this is a better place to learn about them.
Young Garifuna Drummers
Notice that one of the boys (2nd picture) is drumming turtle shells. Very nice and talented young men. Would love to hear them after a few more years since they are so good already.
Video of Young Drummers and Their Instructors
This video is poor quality, but it’s more about the listening than the seeing. One thing you can hopefully notice in the video is how quickly their hands move. Just Amazing. Enjoy.