Bodoma Garifuna at the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015

July 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Bodoma Garifuna perform their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

Bodoma Garifuna performs their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

It was the first time the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015 had been held over a three-day period, but it was just as well, because Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn were all a part of a joyous coming together of Latin Americans celebrating the diversity of Afrodescendente culture. Afrofusion TV made it to Brooklyn on the last day of the festival to capture some scenes for our upcoming segment on Afro-Latino identity, and we were pleased to find a group from Honduras called Bodoma Garifuna Culture Band on the billing. Our interest in the Garifuna goes beyond what we need for our African Diaspora series, though. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Garifuna, a group descended from West and Central Africans, Island Carib, and Arawak peoples that live mostly in the Central American coastal areas of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua. Diaspora Garifuna communities can

Handbags by Accent's Naana Badu on display at the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

Handbags from Ghana by Accent’s Naana Badu on display at the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

also be found in US cities like New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Bodoma Garifuna Culture Band came to the US from Honduras around 2001, and have been going back and forth (from the Bronx) ever since. What’s striking about their music is that is sounds so distinctly like West African goombay music, with specific songs having serious shades of Milo-jazz. And Bodoma Garifuna proudly places Africa at the root of their culture, so we were really happy to get a chance to talk with their leader Bodoma, and also the band’s manager Pablo Blanco, about Garifuna language, music and religion. We’ve included a short preview clip (above) where we chat with Afro-Latino Festival founder Mai-Elka Prado – herself an artist and singer – and also snippets of our conversation with Bodoma and Pablo. More to come. Keep an eye out for our upcoming series, especially our segment on Afro-Latino identity. Bless.

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