(image courtesy Wanaragua Association of Los Angeles)

For the past 200 years, the Wanaragua masquerade dance has been performed during the Christmas season by the Garifuna — descendants of African and Indigenous Caribbean people — as a festive symbol of anti-colonial resistance. Its origins date back to the mid-18th century, when the Garifuna on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent repelled British colonizers. Despite their initial success, the Garifuna were eventually deported to the mainland by the British around 1800, settling in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Each year, throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the wider Garifuna diaspora, spectacularly dressed, masked performers and drummers reenact their victory, transforming into a form of cultural resistance. This Saturday, the Wanaragua Association of Los Angeles — who have been performing for over 20 years — will bring this tradition to Union Station, followed by a discussion with WALA members.

When: Saturday, January 6, 12-2pm
Where: Union Station (800 North Alameda St., Downtown, Los Angeles)

More info here.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.