(redirected from Garifuno)


n. pl. Garifuna or Garifu·nas
1. A member of a people of Carib, Arawak, and African ancestry living along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Nicaragua. The Garifuna were deported to the area in the late 1700s after their defeat by the British on the island of St. Vincent, where shipwrecked and escaped African slaves had intermarried with the indigenous population beginning in the early 1600s.
2. The Arawakan language spoken by the Garifuna.

[American Spanish Garífuna, from Proto-Carib *karipona, Carib.]
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During the valiant Sandinista decade in Nicaragua, I spent a lot of time there and found another borderland, the Mosquitia, the eastern region of Nicaragua and Honduras, filled with marginal peoples -- the Miskitos (mixed Indian, Black, white, who speak Miskito, an Indian language); the Creoles (same mixture but English speaking); and the Garifunos (same mixture speaking a patois).