In the shadows of darkness, two young men sit with drums at their feet. They begin to place their flattened palms to the deerskin. Faster and faster. One by one women dressed in long pleated skirts and light gauzy tops emerge from behind them, as if they are floating across the sand. I try to watch their feet to gain some sense of the rhythm. Left, left, right, right? Is that how it goes? My eyes can't keep up. Failing to discern, my gaze returns to the boys hands. What sort of rhythm were they keeping? My thoughts were interrupted by a loud voice calling out from the darkness and the rest of the women respond in song. I give up trying to understand and turn off my brain.
Dance after dance, they move in the candlelight. I look to see if any of the group is out of step, but dance after dance, they remain in unison. Our small group sat in silence...mesmerized. Our silence was broken when we giggled at a dance that could have easily passed for grinding in a night club. And a hush fell over the crowd as the dancers quickly asked for one of us to join them. One brave soul volunteered to join in as the rest of us spectators recoiled back to silence. By the end of the evening, their smiles, charming voices and passion was infectious. Each and ever one of us out was dragged out from the shadows. And at the end of the evening, we were all dancing, young and old, native and foreign. This Garifuna dance troupe did more than just show us their heritage, they welcomed us to their fold.
- Traditional Garifuna Drumming
- Pelican Beach Resort, Dangriga, Belize
- I had low expectations for a post-dinner "cultural demonstration." However, I was pleasantly surprised to spend the evening watching what felt like a night at the theatre, instead of a tourist demonstration. Pelican Beach Resort does their part to bring local culture to life during your stay. I loved it.