|Garifuna drummer playing at a beluria
The beluria (be-loo-reeya) is among several traditional practices in honour of the dead that are still done in Garifuna communities of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and even in the United States where thousands of Garinagu (Garifuna people) also live.
|Garifuna woman dancing punta at a beluria
|Garifuna women singing at a beluria
The beluria in Garifuna tradition is considered the last ritual of mourning for a loved one. It essentially prepares the deceased for the spirit world. It is a send off to the place where Ancestors dwell, Seiri (say-ree). It gives the community and family a chance to celebrate the life of the deceased on Earth knowing that they will be going to a different place and life. All other rituals in the years that follow are done in honour, reverence and appeasement of those who dwell in the realm of the Ancestors. The Garifuna beluria, though threatened by modern day influences, remains alive among Garinagu as a celebration of life's transition.