Various Artists

Paranda: Africa in Central America

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Paranda is a musical tradition of the Garifuna, whose ancestry can be traced to West Africans (Ibo, Yoruba, and Ashanti tribes) and the Arawak Indians of the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Today the Garifuna live in Belize, where they established communities in 1802 after being first exiled to Honduras from their native St. Vincent, then fleeing Honduras to escape a civil war. Paranda combines Spanish, Arawak, and West African influences to make a lively, acoustic music that is heavy on percussion. Nearly all Paranda features large wooden drums called primero and secundo, as well as shakers and smaller drums made from turtle shells. This collection, titled simply Paranda, brings together some of Belize's few remaining Paranderos to document this fascinating musical genre.

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