Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Dress is a Dress?

Milton Berle did it for the sake of comedy. Cpl Klinger was trying to get out of the army. And Robin Williams just wanted to spend time with his kids. But today in Roatan, Honduras, I learned how the Garifuna people used women’s dresses for a purpose like no other. Long ago, to resist the conquistador colonialists, these men dressed as women wearing masks and did the Punta dance (which we witnessed today) - only they hid knives and weapons under those dresses. Then once the foes resistance was down, they would bring out those weapons and attack. All in the name of fighting against any kind of take-over of their land. 
It makes cross dressing take on an entirely different meaning and purpose. It shows that men, no matter the year/background/custom realize that most men think with one part of their anatomy and lower their guard when women are around; becoming vulnerable. (I suppose this very heavily religious country should be happy that none of those colonialist where gay.) But seriously, it was amazing to think what the ancestors of these people went through and how today they can do this ‘victory dance’ and recall that a man in a dress saved them from what could have been a horrible future. It is like celebrating the drag queens of Stonewall LONG before that year of 1969. Go Garifuna Pride! 

2 comments:

  1. Go Garifuna Pride! Nice piece Greg. Dresses do stow many things, but undergarments store more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great point, MAWR! (Just goes to show I'm not up on my dresses and undergarments.) :-)

    ReplyDelete