Garifuna Music

Music is an integral part of Garifuna culture.  Garifuna music is very distinct from the other styles of music found in Central and Latin America, but has become hugely influential.  The Garinagu integrate song and music into all aspects of their life: from grating cassava for their daily food; to giving advice to a loved one; to honoring the dead and their ancestors.

Traditional Garifuna music is based on a small number of basic rhythms: Paranda, Punta, Chumba, Hungu-Hungu, Wanaragua (also known as Jonkanu), Gunjei, and Dugu (the sacred rhythm only ever played in the Temple).  You can read more about these rhythms in The Drums.While drums are the main instrument in Garifuna music, shakas (maracas), turtle shells, conch shell (for a horn), guitar (in Paranda) and other percussion are also common.Well-known traditional Garifuna musicians include Paul Nabor and Aurelio Martinez (Paranda), Andy Palacio, Adrian “Doc” Martinez, and others.

Punta Rock is the contemporary version of the traditional Punta.  In contrast to the original music, Punta Rock bands include an electric bass guitar, a synthesized keyboard, and a drum machine.

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