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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. This essay focuses on the efforts at cultural rescue of the Nicaraguan Garifuna, a people of mixed African and indigenous descent from Nicaragua’s multilingual, pluricultural, and autonomous Atlantic Coast region. Sparked initially in the context of the Sandinista Revolution, Garifuna cultural rescue has, over the past several decades, developed into a complex revitalization movement. At the start of the twenty-first century, it can be understood as part of the widespread resurgence of indigenous and African-descended peoples throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This essay considers how the Nicaraguan Garifuna use music-making, musical revival, and discourse about music to reassert their own distinctive identity and reconnect with ethnic peers elsewhere in the transnational Garifuna diaspora. More specifically, however, it reveals how these activities serve to create a dialogic intercultural space in which Garifunas can negotiate local and lingering conflicts with neighboring African-descended Creoles in the context of mestizo national dominance.

Keywords: Garifuna music, cultural rescue, cultural revival, musical revival, revitalization movements, Nicaragua, Atlantic Coast, African-descended movements, Latin America, Caribbean, indigenous movements, identity, interculturality

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