Garifuna, also known as Garinagu, are the descendants of the Afro-indigenous population from the Caribbean island of St Vincent who were exiled to the Honduran coast in the 18th century and subsequently moved to Belize. Today, Garifuna mainly live on the coast, but are also very present in towns and villages. Some Garifuna live alongside the Creole population in the main towns.
The Garifuna Collective was co-founded and led by the late Andy Palacio (1960–2008), a musician dedicated to preserving the unique Garifuna language and culture (Andy made one of his last festival appearances at Sunfest ’08). In 2023, this group of accomplished, multi-generational Garifuna artists continues to tour and perform in Palacio’s memory, and with his commitment to keeping Garifuna tradition and language alive against their threatened extinction.
In recent years, the band has been experimenting with new Garifuna rhythms, recording concepts, and even some ‘organic electronic’ music and dub techniques. The results can be savored on ABAN, the band’s latest album, which breaks loose to redefine Garifuna music for a new generation, while maintaining strong roots to traditional concepts and identity. The recording’s title translate as “ONE” and reflects the spirit of unity and self-sufficiency that has kept this Afro-Indigenous people, language and culture alive and fighting in the Caribbean and Central America for over 300 years.