Book Launched in Belmopan Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00

A colorful children’s book depicting the Garifuna Culture was launched on Wednesday of this week at the National Heritage Library on Mountain View Boulevard in Belmopan. Present for the occasion were staff members from the Belize National Library Service and Information System, the National Institute of Culture and History - NICH as well as primary school children from the Belmopan Area.

Felicia Pelayo from NICH told the children that a book is a work of art awaiting reception. She encouraged the children to make reading a part of their lives.

There was an opportunity to learn via video from Mali Cayetano, the main illustrator of this second book, ‘Wanaragua’ that the dance Wanaragua or Jankunu Dance is celebrated in Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to Mali Cayetano some of the dance's features are shared with German and European traditions. This is the second book produced by the family of well known artist Pen Cayetano and author wife Ingrid Cayetano. Their first book, ‘We are Free’, tells the story of the journey of the Garinagu from Africa into the Caribbean.

Contained in the book, Wanaragua, is the enchanting story of three main characters Birah, Namule and Hethan in their search for their culture inherited from the Arawak and the Garinagu. The feathers for Namule’s costumes are sadly missing and the dance steps of the Wanaragua are still yet to be learned. But the herbalist and her bird, Duhuru, know how to come to their assistance with the help of the Ibi, a magic doll, which takes the siblings through parts of South America.

“The message for the children of Belize is to keep up their culture and search in their roots…we have to teach our children the dances and the music that the ancestors left us,” says Ingrid Cayetano, who is one of the authors of Wanaragua.

The Wanaragua Books are now available at the Image Factory, the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery in Dangriga, Belize’s Libraries and at Cubola Productions.

As part of Wednesday’s Book launch, the National Heritage Library is now exhibiting paintings contained in the illustrated Wanaragua Book and will do so through to next month.