After an absence of two years, the Greiggs Heritage Festival returned to the Greiggs Central Playing Field last Tuesday, March 14, National Heroes Day.
An undertaking by the Greiggs Garifuna Council, the Festival attracted a large crowd and was a culmination of five days of activities within the community.
The playing field was transformed as it became the site for a recreation of a tribal and traditional village setting, with eighteen structures made of wood and coconut branches.
Including among the structures were a wattle and daub hut and a cayo hut.
And even as the patrons were in awe of the layout of and display on the field, they seemed even more fascinated with the varied cuisine.
Many unapologetically indulged in Some of the more fancied dishes like Madungo served with either fish or codfish; Goat Water or Manish Water, Doucana and fish broth.
And complementing the wide array food was an equal variety of local drinks.
There was also a varied display of craft, clothing and jewelry, all in keeping with the indigenous people’s art, customs and traditions.
The day was also punctuated with cultural presentations as schools within the area, community groups, and individuals sang, drummed, modelled, performed dance pieces, engaged in Chorale speeches and other forms of expression.
There was a special segment that included a Spelling Bee Competition, General Knowledge Quiz, and Taste Fest, designed to teach and keep the Garifuna culture alive.
Speaking at a brief opening ceremony of sorts, John Nero, President of the Greiggs Garifuna Council, said that his organisation’s aim is to carve out a niche and identity of its own.
“What Greiggs is aiming to do is build an item, build a product that is worthy of culture and tourism to go forward for the next generation…Every season of the year has its own expression … You can’t put Carnival expression into Christmas , Christmas expression into Easter…Easter expression into Heritage celebrations,” Nero expounded.
Given the potential of the Festival and the drive of the members of the Greiggs Garifuna Council, Nero is convinced the Council is ready to spearhead an increase in the number of days over which the Festival is held.
“Carnival has ten days of mas and music, whilst Christmas has nine mornings and Easter benefits from forty days of Lent, therefore more days must be added to the Greiggs Heritage Festival,” Nero reasoned.
Prior to Tuesday’s event, the last Garifuna Heritage Festival took place in 2020. There was none in 2021, nor 2022 because of the prevailing debilitating conditions occasioned by the coronavirus