Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2018 - Page 144

Wanaragua Dance Dance is an integral part of the Garifuna culture. One of the most well-known dances is the Wanaragua. The Wanaragua is a masquerade dance with great social and festive importance that has evolved throughout the Caribbean for the last 200 years. Its pomp and pageantry is elegant, beautiful and full of finesse. The dance is traditionally performed by men. Their costumes involve elaborate headresses complete with feathers and mirrors. They wear bands of shells around their knees with white shirts and black or white pants. Black, green, or pink ribbons cross their chests depending on the time of year the dance is done. The wanaragua is one of the few dances where the drummers follow the dancer’s movements, and not the dancer dancing to the beat of the drum. This allows for an exciting show of skill by both the dancer and the drummer. There are other mime dances that have social and entertainment value. A significant one is the Jungai. This mine dance demonstrates life skills and life events in the household and in the workplace setting. These dances have taken a unique evolution path within the Garifuna culture. Interesting and varying costumes, team management, and dance movement and step combinations have developed in the various Garifuna communities in Central America. A diverse set of songs and drumming patterns have also evolved over time in the various locations where these dances are practiced. INFORMATION SOURCE: National Garifuna Council