Sunday, November 11, 2012

Settlement Day 2012 - Chumba Dance Rehearsal

Did I mention in yesterday's blog that we are pretty busy during this November? As soon as we finished cleaning up from the NGC Health Fair, I had to jump right in to the next fun activity - the GLOW girls' dance rehearsal.

First a little background: Pen Cayetano, international artist AND musician, has painted an historic mural on the wall in the Town Hall. It depicts the history and people of Garifuna culture. I've seen it (while he was working on it) and it is fantastic. It WILL become a Belizean treasure. The unveiling of the picture is slated for the afternoon of Sunday, November 18, and Pen asked our GLOW Girls to perform at the grand opening!!! What an honor.

More background: Pen has a boy's group that meets with him once or twice a week. He teaches drumming, life skills (mainly by setting a good example) and Garifuna culture and values. You might notice some similarities in what he's doing with the boys and what we do with the GLOW girls. He and I talked about each other's groups a couple times, and Ingrid taught her thread painting for one of our activities.

While we were in the US, Ingrid and I corresponded and she told me that Pen wanted the girls to dance. Yay! So Aidra took the girls' measurements, bought fabric for dresses, and will make 12 very authentic, very traditional Garifuna dresses. We will also use them when we walk/ride the float in the Settlement Day Parade. So the girls came by yesterday afternoon, and we walked to Pen's house/gallery/studio so they could learn the dance.  The drumming was great and the boys and girls were so cute. The rest of this blog is a picture story. Enjoy!

Pen and the boys demonstrated first.
And then the girls gave it a shot.
The Chumba is a traditional Garifuna dance depicting women's
work. In this dance, the girls make cassava bread, wash laundry,
hang the clothes, and sweep.
And jump!
You can see the studio walls from this shot. The art matches
the characters in the children's book written by Ingrid and two of
her children.
It took a little practice till they got it all together :-)
Then the boys showed us some moves.
Jankanu dancing. The boys dance (individually) and the drummer
follows the lead of the dancer.
Well, all I can say is, "You had to be there."

Lots more going on this week, folks, so maybe another entry sometime Saturday. Sunday is the unveiling, and Monday is Settlement Day. Stay tuned :-)

1 comment:

Carolyn Kent said...

Hi! I'm an RPCV (served in Guatemala 2010-2012) and I'm also from NC. I'm actually looking to connect with PCVs from Belize b/c I have a really awesome contact from a US org that supports grassroots projects and is starting to manage Belize in addition to Guatemala. You wouldn't happen to know a good person to contact and their info would you? Perhaps the VAC pres? My email is so I'd love to connect! Thanks! - Carolyn