Garifuna (The Black Arawak – Carib) The Indigenous Muslims of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America and Caribbean

Garifuna (The Black Arawak – Carib) The Indigenous Muslims of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America and Caribbean

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The Garifuna (/ɡəˈrɪfᵿnə/ gə-RIF-uu-nə; pl. Garinagu in Garifuna) are mixed-race descendants of West African, Central African, Island Carib, and Arawak people. The British colonial administration used the term Black Carib and Garifuna to distinguish them from Yellow and Red Carib, the original Amerindian population before the Africans intermixed and those deemed to still look Native by the British. Those Caribs who were deemed to look Native and had less African admixture are still living in the islands of the Lesser Antilles. The Island Caribs lived throughout the southern Lesser Antilles, such as present Dominica, St Vincent and Trinidad. Their ancestors are believed to have conquered these areas from their previous inhabitants, the Igneri.

Garifuna
Flag of Garifuna.svg
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Total population
(600,000)
Regions with significant populations
Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States[1]
159,653[2][full citation needed]
Languages
Garifuna, Spanish, Belizean Kriol, English
Religion
Ancestral spirituality: Dügü, generally Roman Catholic with syncretic Garifuna practices (Rastafari, Islam and others Christian denominations)
Related ethnic groups
Island Caribs (Black Carib), Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latino

Since April 12, 1731, the Garifuna people have been living in Central America, where they speak the Garifuna language. The Garifuna people mostly live along the Caribbean Coast of Honduras, but there are also smaller populations in Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. There are also many Garinagu in the United States, particularly in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Seattle, and other major cities.

Language

Main article: Garifuna language

The Garifuna language is an offshoot of the Island Carib language, and it is spoken in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua by the Garifuna people. It is an Arawakan language with French, English, and Spanish influences, reflecting their long interaction with various colonial peoples. Garifuna has a vocabulary featuring some terms used by women and others used primarily by men. This may derive from historical Carib practices: in the colonial era, the Carib of both sexes spoke Island Carib. Men additionally used a distinct pidgin based on the unrelated mainland Carib language.

Almost all Garifuna are bilingual or multilingual. They generally speak the official languages of the countries they inhabit, such as Spanish and English, most commonly as a first language. Many also speak Garifuna.

Garifuna is thought to be a creole language of Caliponian and African languages.[9]

Religion

Today, the majority of Garifuna are officially Catholic but some that are following other religions. They practice a syncretic Catholicism, incorporating traditional beliefs. A shaman known as a buyei is the head of all Garifuna traditional practices. The religion has some qualities similar to the voodoo rituals performed by other tribes of African descent. Mystical practices and participation in the Dugu orders are also widespread among Garifuna. Some individuals from Sein Bight and Dangriga, Belize have claimed to have seen feats of levitation.

There is also a Rastafarian minority, primarily living in Dangriga, Belize City, Belize, and in Livingston, Guatemala.

There are also Garifuna who practice the religion of Islam.

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