Uruwei – The Government

Uruwei – The Government, is a song originally written by Ola Flores.  It features on the album Umalali: The Garifuna Women’s Project released by Stonetree records.  It has two vocalists on this recording.  Ms. Bernadine Flores, and Ms. Damiana Gutierrez.  Ms. Damiana Gutierrez is the mother of Warasa’s founder and owner, Ronald

Uruwei - The government

Ms. Dami cooking her famous conch fritters

Raymond McDonald.    Ms. Dami, as the family knows her, still sometimes sings with Ray’s group and is also a popular local cook.  Ms. Dami and her daughter Alva McDonald are our teachers during cooking lessons as part of our Half- and Whole-Day Packages.  They are also our chefs when guests order Hudut as part of their Garifuna cultural experience.    Below are the lyrics to this haunting song.  You can download it from the Stonetree website or stream it here.

Uruwei – The Government

Anihan uruwei ya aü lahayahayan nege lau le lisien (The Government is here, hiring out of love they say)

Nahayaruba gien bumou (I will get a job)

Nahayaruba, wanwa, luba gudemetina (I will get a job for I am poor)

Haliyoun nibadina baume, Nicho (Where shall I take you, Nicho)

Haliyoun nibadina baume, wanwa (Where shall I take you, my dear)

Haliyoun nibadina beiba wabien (Where shall I take you? You had better go home)

Haliyoun nibadina baume Isawelu (Where shall I take you, Isabel)

Haliyoun nibadina baume wanwa (Where shall I take you, my dear)

Haliyoun nibadina beiba wabien (Where shall I take you?You had better go home)

Haliyoun nibadina baume, nirau (Where shall I take you, my son)

Haliyoun nibadina baume, wanwa (Where shall I take you, my dear)

Haliyoun nibadina beiba wabien (Where shall I take you? You had better go home)

 

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Garifuna Music

 Garifuna music

Music is an integral part of Garifuna culture.  Garifuna music is very distinct from the other styles of music found in Central and Latin America.  The Garinagu integrate song and music into all aspects of their life.  Therefore many songs are about activities like fishing or cooking or giving advice to a loved one.

Traditional Garifuna music is based on a small number of basic rhythms.  These are Paranda, Punta, Chumba, Hungu-Hungu, Wanaragua (also known as Jonkanu), Gunjei, and Dugu.  Dugu is a sacred rhythm that is only played in the Temple.   Shakas (maracas), turtle shells, conch shell (for a horn), guitar (in Paranda) and other percussion are also commonly used.

Garifuna Musicians

Well-known traditional Garifuna musicians include Paul Nabor and Aurelio Martinez (Paranda), Andy Palacio and Adrian “Doc” Martinez.

Punta Rock is the contemporary version of the traditional Punta.  In contrast to the original music, Punta Rock bands include an electric bass guitar, a synthesized keyboard, and a drum machine.  Well-known Punta Rock musicians include Supa G, Aziatic and Lova Boy.

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