here are three healing celebrations and rituals in the Garifuna tradition: the Chugu, Lemesi, and Dugu.

The Chugu is the offering of food to the dead. If the ancestors have requested drums, then drums are played after the table has been cleared.

There are two types of Lemesi. One is the official taking off of the mourning clothes after one year and the other is a memorial in church as requested by the ancestors.

The most serious of the healing rites is the d?g?. Whenever there is a rift in the Garifuna family relationship, the effects are felt among the living and the dead. If the living are unable or unwilling to fix the problem, then the ancestors will intervene. The d?g? is an opportunity for family throughout Belize and beyond to come together to heal their relationships at the request of the ancestors. The ceremony that lasts for 6 to 9 days takes over a year to plan.


The ceremony consists of drumming, singing, dancing, eating, and drinking. Before the actual ceremony begins there are four days of preparatory rites. Fishermen leave at dawn to catch food as an offering to the ancestors and to feed the relatives who will attend the ceremony. In addition to food and drink offerings, the ceremony consists of drumming, singing, and dancing to repair a damaged relationship between the ancestors and the living.