JAM 96X The album that woke up the world to the spanking Punta Rock Sounds of Aziatic. The award winning tunes of JAM 96X, continues to serve as a link between young and old generations. In 2001, UNESCO declared the Garifuna language, music, and dance Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Punta is the most celebrated of the indigenous secular dance-song genres of the Garinagu (commonly called the Garifuna), a people of Amerindian and African descent who live along the Caribbean coast of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua and as immigrants in urban centers in the United States. The Garinagu share a common language, system of customs and beliefs, post-mortem rituals, and repertoire of music and dance. Punta, a reenactment of the cock-and-hen mating dance, is characterized by a motionless upper torso and rapid movement of the buttocks and hips caused by continuously shuffling the feet. Social commentary songs performed responsorially to the sound of two drums, rattles, and occasionally conch shell trumpets and hollow turtle shells struck with mallets accompany dance movements. The most recognizable and identifying characteristics of punta are the duple-meter ostinato played on the segunda or bass drum and the shaking of the buttocks, a gesture found in West African cultures and in many African-derived cultures in the Caribbean and the Americas. A series of rhythmic motives characteristic of punta are improvised on the primero (the tenor or lead drum), the smaller of the two Garifuna drums. Punta is also know as an expression of sexual dialogue between men and women.
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