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The Charming Culture of Belize, Part 2 of 2



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The ancient architecture is well represented by the two tallest stone buildings remaining, the Mayan pyramids at Caracol and Xunantunich. There is also the fascinating but unexcavated Pilar city, which is probably the largest classic era Mayan city in Belize.

The wisdom and talents of the Belizean people are reflected in their traditional and modern artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramic creations. The traditional Mayan arts heritage “carved slate bas-reliefs” are still produced by talented artisans in the western districts of Belize. Traditional local handcrafts, such as woven Mayan baskets, are being well preserved for future generations by local women, especially in the Maya Village of Toledo. The Qʼeqchiʼ Maya in Belize are especially well-known for the beauty and sophistication of their textiles, which Mayan women have been weaving since the Mayan Age.

The artistic Belizean people celebrate plenty of festivals. The biggest festivals of the year include Easter, Belize Independence Day, Christmas Day, the Belize City Carnival, Garifuna Settlement Day and traditional Maya Festivals.

The traditional Garifuna musical instruments include the drums, the banjo, the accordion, and the guitar. Two local Belizean music genres are punta and punta rock, which were developed by Garifuna musicians. Founding member of the National Kriol Council, the “Queen of Brukdown” Leela Vernon, was awarded an “Order of the British Empire” in 2007 and designated as a “National Hero” in 2016 by the Belizean National Institute of Culture and History for her contributions to the Kriol Language, Music and Culture of Belize.

Traditional Maya music and dance are an important part of the cultural heritage of Belize. The traditional Maya deer dance is a custom play that depicts the relationship between the Maya people and nature. Mayan ancestors passed down the deer dance performance to remind their future generations of the value and importance of nature and these precious animal-people friends.

Belize is a vegan-friendly land, with rice and beans being the classic staples. In most common restaurants, one can find vegan options, or steamed vegetables and a wide variety of fruits readily available. Some pasta dishes are also vegan.
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