Punta rock

From Academic Kids

Punta rock is a form of the traditional punta rhythm of the Garifuna people of Central America.

In the late 1970s, Penn Cayetano, a Garifuna artist, began to compose songs in the Garifuna language. He added the rhythm of the electric guitar to the traditional punta rhythm and created what is now known as punta-rock, the "rock" being the rhythm of the guitar. Cayetano's creation caught on quickly in Belize and from there spread to the other Central American countries. The Garifuna culture was being weakened at the time as young progressive Garifuna men and women looked more to an American style of existence and did not carry on the traditions as before. The popularity of punta-rock brought back to the surface an inherent Garifuna pride and probably, singlehandedly, is responsible for the resurgence of the culture. As the pride of the Garifuna was given a booster shot by punta rock, more artists began composing Garifuna songs to traditional Garifuna rhythms.

Punta-rock is now a viable world music genre. Punta-rock is the only music created by Central Americans and indigenous to the area. Punta-rock has become the official music of many Central American countries. When Banda Blanca of Honduras sold over 3 million copies of "sopa de caracol" or "conch soup", originally written by Chico Ramos, a Garifuna of Belize, celebrated their success. Punta-rock has grown since the early 1980s to include other electronic instruments such as the synthesizer and electric bass guitar as well as other percussive instruments. The lyrics are also being done in Spanish. The genre is continuing to develop a strong following in the United States, Europe, South America and even Asia. It is believed to be only a matter of time before the Central American immigrants in the United States do for punta-rock what Mexican immigrants of the west and south have done for Tejano music.

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