Kriol Cultural Development

The Creole people of Belize share many common cultural practices, beliefs, and values. Some of the aspects of the culture were brought from Africa — such as Anancy stories, and some aspects come from other cultures: dorey building from the Miskito, foods from the Mestizos, cricket from the British, etc. Some aspects of the culture have developed due to the common history of the people. Due to the history of logging most Creole towns have developed along waterways or the coast, e.g. Gales Point, Burrell Boom, Roaring Creek, Placencia. Through the near total emphasis on logging and ignoring of agriculture there is an impression that Creoles cannot be farmers. Due to the relationships between slaves and masters, it was Creoles that moved in civil service occupations in the developing nation, rather than members of other ethnic groups. Through the work schedule and methods of payment for loggers, the need for credit unions and syndicates developed among the Creole community.During the days of mahogany logging, the men spent most of their time at the mahogany camps cutting timber and separated from their families. At Christmas time, the work gangs returned to Belize City for a three to four week break in the yearly season of forestry work. This was a time of festivities, or ‘bram’, which included brukdown music, songs, dances, liquor, food, and boat racing on the river. Some of the larger pitpans were manned by some twenty to forty paddlers, dressed to represent the different mahogany camps. People converged on Albert Street where a boom and chime band provided the brammers’ music. In some villages, such as Gales Point, bramming still occurs during the Christmas season. The brammers move from house to house dancing to the beat of the gombay or sambai drums. Christmas feasting consisted of ham, turkey, cakes, homemade wines, rum-popo, and other foods.