The Atlantic Lowlands Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Dance the Punta
You won't quite be able to put your finger on what it is: It's not reggae. It's not salsa. It's not hip-hop. But the punta resembles all three, and you'll hear the music everywhere along the Caribbean coast, here and in neighboring Belize and Honduras.
Scholars surmise that the name punta is actually a corruption of the word bunda, meaning "buttocks" in the Mandé language of West Africa, from where the music was imported. The name fits: dancers remain nearly stationary from the waist up, but engage in intense hip gyrations, right to left in a circular motion, while dancing on the balls of their feet. Historically, drums, rattles, and turtle shells provided the percussion-only accompaniment; these days, synthesizers and guitars have taken over that role, creating an all-the-rage style of music known as punta rock. Garífuna lyrics were the one-time norm; English and Spanish have become more common, helping to propel the punta beyond this region to prominence in World Music playlists.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's