Warasa Garifuna Drum School

Warasa Garifuna Drum School welcomes you to a fun and authentic way of experiencing the fascinating and unique Garifuna culture.

Descendants of ship-wrecked Africans who then mixed with indigenous Arawak and Carib Amerindians on the Caribbean island of St Vincent in the 17th century, the Garifuna people settled in Belize in the 19th century after being forced from St Vincent by the British.  The Garifuna people, who were never enslaved, have a proud and rich history and culture.

Let us share this unique culture with you in a truly “hands-on” way with an interactive lesson in traditional drumming, dancing or drum-making.  Or, just sit back and enjoy a traditional group performance, or ask about other options like singing or language lessons—it is all completely up to you.  

Drum Lessons

Our drum lessons can be booked one-to-one, or as part of a small or large group. Each participant gets their own drum to play on, and our instructor Ray will make sure that everybody has fun!

The lesson will begin with Ray giving a brief background to Garifuna culture and drumming, and showing you how to hold and strike your large bass "Segunda" drum. He will show you a basic Paranda rhythm, and when you can hold a beat, he will play alongside you on the smaller, faster and higher-pitched Primero drum while singing traditional songs. 

Moving along at a pace to suit you, he will then introduce you to other traditional rhythms, including Punta, Chumba, Hungu-Hungu, Jonkunu and Gunjei.

Drum-Making

Our drum-making lessons show you the basics of making a Garifuna drum - from chiselling, planing and sanding a solid log into shape, preparing the deerskin, making the natural wood pins to tighten the ropes, attaching the skin using jungle vines, to the final finishing touches.    How much you learn will depend on how long your lesson is.  

We will show you how it is done the traditional way - without the use of power tools - so be prepared to warm-up your arm muscles! It is up to you how "hands-on" you want the lesson to be.

An entire drum-making workshop (where you get to make your own drum from start to finish, with a few shortcuts for you along the way!) you will take two days of your time, with at least 3 days break between each day to allow time for the deerskin to dry properly.

Half Day Packages

We offer a variety of flexible half-day packages for very reasonable rates (minimum 2 people) with optional lunch or dinner

Choose which activities from the list below you want to make up your half-day package and we will tailor it to suit you:

· Drumming lesson

· Drum-making lesson

· Traditional group show

· Dancing lesson

 

Duration / Dates

Year round

Contact / Enquiry

Enquiry


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