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Wanaragua/ Jankunu Garífuna Warriors

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

According to Garifuna oral history the Wanaragua is a warrior dance tradition which derived from the multiple wars we had fighting the British Empire for over 150 years for our motherland Yurumein.  When the men became weary of fighting the British, Abuti Chatoyer's wife Baruda told him to tell the tired men to give the women their pants and  sword so they can defend their land.  His wife's taunting words gave Abuti Chatoyer an idea having noticed that the British never attacked when there were only women and children in a village. With that knowledge, Abuti Chatoyer developed a military strategy for the men to disguise themselves as women by wearing women clothing and pretended like all the men had fled. When the British entered the center of the village,  the Garifuna male warriors dressed as women, would attack them. This clever and unique war strategy defeated and kept the British at bay. Today, the Wanaragua warrior dancers dressed in the colorful attire based on the Garifuna traditional oral history is now danced in Honduras and  Guatemala. While Jackunu dance is based on various British colonial stories and it is danced in Belize and other Caribbean islands wearing the white and black colonial uniform to represent the British army.

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