The Institute for Social and Cultural Research of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) has selected materials from the Dangriga Cable Vision Company (Ltd.) to survey as an audio-visual collection of cultural heritage in Belize.
Since the late 1980’s, the Dangriga Cable Vision Company has captured various recordings of the local language, music, and dance customs of the Garifuna peoples, which are recognized by the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. While these practices are considered to be treasured cultural heritage, they are significantly underrepresented in national archives.
The Dangriga Cable Vision Company began as a service in Dangriga, Belize but later extended to two villages in the Stann Creek District-- Independence and Hopkins. Throughout its service, the company documented cultural events within the region and broadcasted them publicly. This created a huge archive of materials that are now invaluable to the local communities.
The collection consists of audio-visual recordings (VHS tapes and DVDs) of community cultural events and activities, spanning from the late 1970s to the 2000s. It showcases public and private materials that cover traditional lifestyles, events, and other aspects of the region’s cultural heritage. Linguistic practices of local communities, for instance, are slowly falling out of use, but now have the opportunity to be studied and preserved.
With this archive, users will be able to not only better understand local customs and practices throughout the last few decades, but local users will also be able to see and hear their parents, grandparents, and perhaps even older generations in action.