Arumahani and Abaimahani: Garifuna traditional song across two diasporas

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Garifuna, an Arawak language with a large French lexical component spoken by descendants of an African population, is the last indigenous language of the Caribbean islands to maintain a sizable population of first language speakers. We focus here on in-depth documentation of two of the most traditional genres of Garifuna a cappella song: Abaimahani, (a women's genre), and arumahani, (a critically endangered men's genre). We document these at two points representing two historical diasporas, Dangriga, Belize and New York City to explore resilience and adaptation of endangered languages in urban centers. Primary investigator: Daniel Kaufman

Project Details


Location: Belize, Central America, Americas Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Endangered Language Alliance Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £7,992.00 Commencement Date: 01/2010 Project Status: Active
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