Ms Dami – Uruwei (The Government)

A wonderful and kind woman passed away this weekend, 18th Jan 2020. Ms Damiana Gutierrez, mother of Cecil Gutierrez, Giovanni, Ronald, Alva and Ivan McDonald, sister to Victor, Virgin and Guadalupe and aunt to many by blood or through love alone.

Ms. Dami is one of the vocalists on the song Uruwei – The Government, which features on the album Umalali: The Garifuna Women’s Project released by Stonetree records.

Ms. Dami loved to sing and dance and was famous for her conch fritters, and many of our guests enjoyed her delicious hudut at Warasa. Below are the lyrics to this poignant (and ever relevant) 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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