Ibimeni: Garifuna Traditional Music From Guatemala

SR 273CD SR 273CD

The Sub Rosa label presents the Garifuna musicians and dancers from Livingston, Guatemala. Ibimeni, a term associated with childhood and youth, means honey or sweetness in Garifuna. Ibimeni is also the name of a group of Garifuna musicians and dancers from Livingston, Guatemala, who interpret their traditional sounds on this album. This collection includes lullabies, festive chants, processional marches, and songs of religion and labor. Livingston is a small region located on the Caribbean coast at the mouth of Rio Dulce, Guatemala. It is accessible only by boat or airplane. This isolation allows the conservation of many cultural elements, such as music and dance. Ethnogenesis and location of Garinagu: A series of villages inhabited by the Garifuna (plural, Garinagu) are located throughout the coasts of the Gulf of Honduras, (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and the Laguna de Perlas -- Nicaragua). The Garinagu are the Afro-Amerindian people with the most transnational presence in Central America. With a particular ethnogenesis, produced by the encounter of Caribs and Arawaks in the Lesser Antilles, they remained throughout the conquest period, due to race-mixing with black slaves. Constituted as "Maroons," as a clear resistance against the English, they were the protagonists of the so-called "Caribbean War" during 1795 and 1796 in Saint Vincent Island, from where they were defeated and later deported to Central America in April 1797. After being abandoned in Roatán (Bay Islands), they negotiated with the Spanish crown to be transferred to Puerto Trujillo, in continental lands, where they started to scatter to the east and west. They established their own lands on the edge of the coast of the Honduras Gulf. Halfway through the 20th century, they began their migration to the United States. Music and dancing -- vehicles of religiosity -- are central in the Garifuna culture. This musical expression is based on the group of two, three, and even four drums, garaon (primera -- the high pitched and segunda -- the lowest), and sonajas sisiras that interpret rhythms accompanied by a solo singer and a choir that repeats a verse. The relationship between the primera drum-rolls and the dancer is that the dancer responds to the movements made by the drum as if it were a dialogue. In tandem to the polyrhythmic universe of Garifuna drums, they cultivate another intense field of musical expressions that plays an important role in society, most of the time of ludic and recreational character.