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GAHFU’s Garífuna Lecture and Cultural Presentations Available For Colleges, Universities, & Festivals

Updated: Jun 18

A Lecture About Garifuna History by Cheryl L. Noralez would involve highlighting the key elements of Garifuna culture, history, and contributions. Cheryl has lectured at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, UC Davis, California State University, Los Angeles, Northridge, Dominguez Hills, El Camino College, Pitzer College, and Moorpark College. Here’s a structured outline for the presentation:

The History of the Garifuna People - A Journey Through Time

Importance of understanding Garifuna history

Origins of the Garifuna - Early history and Ameri-Indian roots

The merging of African from The Mali Empire with indigenous Carib and Arawak people in the Caribbean

The St. Vincent Connection - The settlement on the island of St. Vincent

Cultural blending and the development of the Garifuna identity

The British Invasion and Exile from St. Vincent in 1797 - Conflict with the British colonial powers

Forced relocation to Roatán, Honduras

Migration and Settlement - Spread of the Garifuna people to Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Establishment of Garifuna communities in Central America

Cultural Heritage

Language: Garifuna language and its significance

Music and Dance: Punta, Paranda, Hüngü Hügü and other traditional forms

Cuisine: Staple foods and traditional dishes

Social Structure and Traditions - Community and family structures

Key traditions and ceremonies such as Dügü and Chugú

Role of women in Garifuna society

Challenges faced by Garifuna communities today - Efforts to preserve Garifuna culture and language

Contributions of the Garifuna people to their countries and beyond

Notable Figures and Prominent Garifuna individuals in various fields

Contributions to arts, politics, and education

Garifuna Diaspora and Garifuna communities outside of Central America - Influence and presence in countries like the United States.

Organizations and movements dedicated to preserving Garifuna heritage

Cheryl L. Noralez’s contributions and works such as Books, articles, and other resources on Garifuna history and culture.


The Traditional Garifuna Drumming Ensemble is a 5 to 6 musicians - cultural vocal, dance, and drumming group based in Los Angeles, California. They are comprised of Garifuna men and women born in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States. The traditional drummers are made up of Primera, Segunda, and Tercera drums, maracas, turtle shells, and Conch. They were formed out of the ranks of the Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United’s (GAHFU) Garifuna Language & Culture Academy of Los Angeles. This group of Garifuna artists have evolved under the leadership of Cheryl L. Noralez, President and Founder of GAHFU. They perform a variety of genres among the most popular: Punta, Paranda, Wanaragua, Hüngühüngü, and Gunchei. We also offer Wanaragua (Warrior Dancers) which is composed of Wanaragua dancers, drummers, gayusa, and a sisira (maracas man). The Wanaragua performance or the drumming ensemble performance can be accompanied by a Garifuna history PowerPoint presentation by Cheryl L. Noralez.



There is a variety of artistic and cultural expressions within Garifuna society but the most popular ones are the festive dances, town’s celebrations, and ceremonials.  Festive dances are observed on special cases celebrating the real Garifuna life.  Town’s celebrations are observed during festivals dedicated to the patron saint of each community.  Ceremonial dances take place during special events dedicated to the ancestors.  Festive dances have this joyful character such as: Paranda, Hüngühüngü, Punta, Wanaragua, Gunchei, and Chunba.


This is a protest dance by excellence and it is well-known as the Garifuna gathering dance.  All of the songs that are written using the Paranda rhythm are of masculine inspiration. The songs tell stories that satirize anguish, distress, anxiety, and happiness. These rhythm or dances are for all occasions, and they can be used to serenade and entertain any informal event.


This is also known as Fedu (Party), which is the feminine dance by excellence and very popularly celebrated during the Christmas festivities. All of the melodies that enhance this dance are uniquely of feminine inspiration.  These songs are loaded with stories telling of anguish, distress, and happiness.  It is danced by women of any age and the only masculine element present during the dance is made up of the banner bearer and the drummers.

Punta & Punta Rock

This is also known as Bángidi, Pakün or Lándânu; it is a Garifuna people’s funeral dance. It symbolizes family unity not only among the living but also among those who live in the spiritual world.  Punta is danced during wakes and in other ceremonies having to do with the passing of someone.  Its rhythm is engaging, and it can be danced in couples.  The lyrics are generally of feminine inspiration. As for Punta Rock, this is the evolution of one of most popular genres made famous by Banda Blanca and its worldwide hit Sopa de Caracol. The addition of electronic instruments to the traditional drums such as keyboard and electric guitar gives it the Punta Rock term.


This is known as the war dance of the Garifuna people.  It emerged during the colonial days, and it symbolizes the struggle against the European man.  It ridicules the expansionist pretentions of man to colonize abroad at the expense of Garinagu. Wanaragua’ s attire symbolizes the traditional European colonial clothing, using masks depicting Caucasian features as well as vividly colored crowns worn on their heads with which they depict the appearance of kings in Europe’s Colonial era.  Wanaragua is also known in Honduras as Masked Dance “Baile de Máscaros”. A very unique detail about the Wanaragua is that the dancer leads the Primera drummer by his moves as opposed to the drummer setting the beat drum for the dance to follow. Also, it is a male dance only and no women are traditionally allowed to dance; however, in this modern era, some females are part of the Wanaragua as dancers.


Gunchei is also known as Ina We (inna weh), and it is the revolutionary dance of Garifuna society.  It commemorates the advent of the French Revolution: a new system of liberation for those people who were oppressed.  In its beginnings, Gunchei was known as, by excellence, as the Garifuna aristocracy dance.

Chunba / Chumba

Chumba dance is a solo dance performed by a woman, often exhibiting a large degree of individual style.

This is the dance of ability and liberation of sluggish energy.  It is exclusive danced by males. It is danced in an individual form where the level of ability and skill in order to imitate the actions of the people around him.  It simulates excellence, virility, superiority to the genius who surrounds him.  Salvador Suazo states, “I reminisce about those celebrations back in my days in the Garifuna communities which have been slowly disappearing, it looks like those days will never be back.

Give us a call for a quote:

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United (GAHFU)

Long Beach, CA 90806

Cellphone: (323) 898-6841

Google Number: (323) 628-5403

Official Website:

Twitter: @gahfu

Facebook: GAHFU Garifuna

Instagram: @garifunaheritagefoundation

YouTube: @gahfu

Information and pictures updated on June 17, 2024

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