Definitions

punta darco

Punta

Traditional Punta is a form of Garinagu dance music performed during celebrations or festive occasions. Contemporary punta or Punta rock music has evolved in the last 30 years primarily by Garifuna musicians from Belize and Honduras, but also Guatemala. It also has a sizable following in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Southern Mexico and the United States. Songs can be done in Garifuna, Kriol, English, or Spanish. This makes Punta the most popular form of music from the Central American region.

History

The word Punta is likely a latinization of Bunda, with links to West Africa and an ancient rhythm called Bunda, or "buttocks" in the Mandé language. It is a style that has long been practiced by the Garifuna of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Other forms of Garifuna music and dance include :hungu-hungu, combination, wanaragua, abaimahani, matamuerte, laremuna wadaguman, gunjai, sambai, charikanari, eremuna egi, paranda, berusu, punta rock, teremuna ligilisi, arumahani, and Mali-amalihani. Punta is the most popular dance in Garifuna culture. It is performed around holiday's and at parties, and other social events. Punta lyrics are usually composed by the women. Chumba and hunguhungu are a circular dance in a three beat rhythm, which is often combined with punta. There are other songs typical to each gender, women having eremwu eu and abaimajani, rhythmic a cappella songs, and laremuna wadaguman, men's work songs.chumba and hunguhungu, a circular dance in a three beat rhythm, which is often combined with punta.

The Evolution of Punta

It was until 1978 however, that musician and visual artist Pen Cayetano and the Turtle Shell Band introduced a new genre call "Punta rock" to the world in 1978, at 5 Moho Street, in Dangriga town. He began to compose songs in the Garifuna language. He added the rhythm of the electric guitar to the traditional punta rhythm with the "rock" being the rhythm of the guitar. Cayetano's creation caught on quickly in Belize and from there spread to Garifuna communities in Honduras and Guatemala. The Garifuna culture was being weakened at the time as young progressive Garifuna men and women looked more to an American style of existence and did not carry on the traditions as before. The popularity of punta-rock brought back to the surface an inherent Garifuna pride and probably, singlehandedly, is responsible for the resurgence of the culture. As the pride of the Garifuna was given a booster shot by punta rock, more artists began composing Garifuna songs to traditional Garifuna rhythms. He added the rhythm of the electric guitar to the traditional punta rhythm and created what is now known as punta-rock, the "rock" being the rhythm of the guitar. The popularity of punta-rock brought back to the surface an inherent Garifuna pride and probably, singlehandedly, is responsible for the resurgence of the culture. As the pride of the Garifuna was given a booster shot by punta rock, more artists began composing Garifuna songs to traditional Garifuna rhythms. Pen fused traditional Garifuna instrumentation including the garawon (drum), rattles, and turtle shells with modern electronic instruments. His lasting legacy, however, lies in his lyrics, which gave the political, social and economic issues of the Belizean Garifuna people a global platform, and along the way inspired a new generation to apply their talents to their own ancestral forms and unique concerns. Today punta musicians in Central America, the US, and elsewhere have made further advances with the introduction of the piano, woodwind, brass and string instruments. Punta-rock is now a viable world music genre. When Banda Blanca of Honduras sold over 3 million copies of "Sopa De Caracol" or "Conch Soup", originally written by Belizean Chico Ramos, the Garifunas of Belize felt cheated but celebrated their success. Punta-rock has grown since the early 1980s to include other electronic instruments such as the synthesizer and electric bass guitar as well as other percussive instruments. The genre is continuing to develop a strong following in the United States and South America and the Caribbean. It is believed to be only a matter of time before the Central American immigrants in the United States do for punta-rock what Mexican immigrants of the west and south have done for Tejano music.

Different Forms

Garifuna Punta

Belizean Punta (rock)

Belizean punta is distinctive from tradtional punta in that the language and concepts are more adapted to the general Belizean identity. Although most artist and bands are exclusively Garifuna, songs are usually in Kriol or Garifuna and rarely in Spanish, or English. While this style is unique, calypso and soca have had slight influences on it. Like calypso, and soca, Belizean punta was used for both social commentary and risqué humor, though the initial wave of punta acts eschewed the former. Lord Rhaburn and the Cross Culture Band were intergral in the acceptance of punta by Belizeans (namely Kriols) by actually doing calypso songs about punta such as "Gumagrugu Watah" and "Punta Rock Eena Babylon".

Honduran (Spanish) Punta

Notable Artists and Bands

- Belizean -

- Guatemalan -

  • Black Fever
  • La Buga Boys
  • Paula Castillo
  • Garifuna Stars Band
  • Ervin Arzu
  • GNG Band
  • Ideal Castillo

- Honduran -

  • Banda Blanca
  • Kazzabe
  • Figaga
  • Grupo Sambat
  • Los Professionales
  • Los Roland's
  • Los Silverstar
  • Los Gatos Bravos
  • Aurelio Martinez
  • Chicas Roland's
  • Fernandez Band
  • Kaligar Band
  • Jimmy Suazo
  • Guiriga Impacto
  • La Gran Banda
  • Big Junior

- Multiple Nationalities -

  • Punta Cartel
  • Garifuna Kids
  • Garifuna Legacy
  • Legacy Gifted

Hit songs

Some punta songs that have become worldwide hits:

  • "One, Two, Three" - Guiriga Impacto
  • "Mi Tradicion" - Kazzabe
  • "Sopa De Caracol" - Banda Blanca (3 million records sold. Originally recorded by Chico Ramos as 'Conch Soup'.)
  • "Punta Legacy" - Garifuna Legacy
  • "4 Men" - Super G
  • "Prym Tyme 69X" - Aziatic
  • "Flirting Vibe" - Aziatic
  • "Chatty Chatty" - Aziatic
  • "Go!" - Aziatic
  • "Suavecito" - Garifuna Legacy
  • "Bounile" - Punta Cartel
  • "Leh tu To" - Garif
  • "Ti Boom Boom" - Reckless
  • "Flour Lob" - Mime
  • "On Fire" - Punta Rebels
  • "Dance With Me" - Punta Rebels
  • "Party" - Punta Rebels
  • "Wala Wine" - Super G
  • "Rapist" - Super G
  • "Nanigi" - Super G
  • "Ital Food" - Mohobub Flores
  • "Laluda Beyu" - Chicas Roland's
  • "Va Canon" - Los Silverstar

See also

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