The Creole People of Belize  

by McNab Editorial Team
creole boys

The Creole people in Belize are those with some amount of African blood. They are the descendants of African slaves who were brought to Belize in the 1700s and 1800s. Some also are descended from those who immigrated from Africa. The Creole people once encompassed about 60 percent of the Belize population. However, many of them moved to North America and, at the same time, a number of Central Americans moved into Belize. The Creole people now number just under 25 percent of the Belize population. Most of the Creole people live in Belize City. Others live in the villages alongside the Sibun River and Belize River. Some common locations for the Creole people include Monkey River, Lemonal, Gracie Rock, Placencia, Bermudian Landing, and Maskall.

creole boyscreole boys

In terms of industry, the Creole people commonly work in government jobs, service industries, and farming. In the past, many Creole people worked in the forests on a seasonal basis. Their language reflects the mixed heritage of the Creole people. Slavemasters taught the slaves English, which was then mixed with African. Belizean Creole is thus a mixture of English and African. The Creole language is commonly used throughout Belize.

Food

Creole food is known for its eclectic and exotic tastes. Some basic staples in their cuisine include rice, beans, fish, bread and any other kind of meat. Rice and beans is a famous and common dish for them. Other dishes include crab soup, conch soup, stewed fish and boil-up. The Creole people enjoy drinking natural juices or soda with their meals. They also often drink wine made from local cashews or blackberries.

Clothing and Music

The Creole people usually wear Western clothes in most cases. Casual but stylish wear is preferred. Women often keep up with the latest international fashions. Music is at the center of many Belize cultures, which includes the Creole. They like rhythmic, danceable music. Some common dances are the Gombay, Brukdown, and Bram. Many of them have musical aptitude and often play homemade instruments like drums, sticks, rattles, and bottles among others.

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Beliefs

Creoles tend to hold similar beliefs to the other cultures in Belize. One belief is the Tata Duende, which is a supernatural force that protects the jungle and wildlife. The Tata Duende is more of a trickster rather than evil. He is often depicted as a short male creature that wears a hat and has a mean face. Another belief is the Sisimite. This creature has been described as the Mexican bigfoot due to its rumored appearance and the fact that it’s popular in Mexico and Guatemala as well as Belize. Belief in the Anansi originally came from Africa but is widely believed around Belize. The Anansi is a clever spider that often takes a trickster role in stories. 

Written by Larry Waight

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