Don’t Miss Paranda Fest 2019

paranda music

On April 20, 2019, the Paranda Folk Art and Music Festival will take place at the Palmento Grove Lodge and Fishing Lodge located on the northwestern side of Hopkins Village in Stann Creek District in southeastern Belize.

Paranda is a traditional music and dance tradition of the Garifuna people who make up approximately five percent of Belize’s population. Reflecting Spanish influences on traditional African rhythms, Paranda is a kind of “blues” music where soulful lamentations are combined with guitar music and accompanied by ritualized dancing.

The Garifuna people arrived in Belize approximately 200 years ago, but it was their brethren who emigrated to Honduras at the same time who developed the Paranda. Traditionally, Paranda music is performed exclusively by men using several distinctive drum rhythms and accompanied by the guitar. The lyrics, too, traditionally reflect men’s problems.Paranda Music

Paranda is somewhat related to punta and punta rock, Garifuna musical genres developed in Belize. What distinguishes Paranda is that it is both a musical genre as well as a specific rhythm used by drums, shakers, turtle shells, and dancers. It is these rhythms which have been influenced by Spanish traditional music that was encountered by the Garifuna upon their arrival in Honduras. Furthermore, punta lyrics generally reflect a female perspective while Paranda songs are usually written from an exclusively male perspective.

Perhaps the greatest living Paranda musician is Paul Nabor who was born in Punta Gorda, Belize in 1930. Simultaneously a musician, spirit medium, and sacred healer, Nabor’s first record was entitled “Paranda” and is considered the epitome of this musical genre. Most Paranda musicians (called “Paranderos”) performing today have been influenced by Nabor, including Aurelio Martinez, considered by many to be the successor to Nabor.

Paranda Fest will begin on April 20, 2019, or Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Paranda Fest will continue until Monday, April 22, 2019. This three-day festival includes lots and lots of Paranda music and dancing plus arts and craft exhibitions, cassava making workshops, traditional Garifuna drum lessons, and games for the whole family. Paranda Fest will also feature live musical performances from some of the top Garifuna musicians in Belize and across Central America.

If you’d like to attend the 2019 Paranda Fest, you can rent your vehicle from Barefoot Rentals and Services. Barefoot Rentals and Services is based in Placencia Village, Stann Creek District and also organizes tours to all of the top attractions in the region, including cultural visits to Garifuna villages.

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