Casabe: Garífuna Yucca Bread
Did you know that "Garífuna" has been translated, "people that
eat yucca"? Yucca is a important staple of the Garífuna diet. The root
is boiled and the starch is used to make breads, soups, tapioca, and wash
clothing! The most common dish made out of yucca is a flat, cracker-like
bread known as casabe in Spanish and ereba in Garífuna.
The Arawak Indians of Guyana, Surinam, and Venezuela first developed a
sophisticated technology to process the yucca and make casabe. This custom
was carried to the Antilles Islands in the Caribbean when the Arawak started
migrating in 160 A.D. When Garífuna descendents were exiled to Roatan
in 1797, the British transported the yucca plant and farming tools to
Honduras to preserve traditional ways.
Today, this traditional bread is
served at many Garífuna rituals, including the sacred dugü ceremony. The
preparation of casabe is a two-day labor of love. In this time, the Garífuna
women sing songs of hardship, of their husbands and sons departing and
being left alone to maintain their fields, families, and communities.
Through these songs, the Garífuna women release their pain and find renewed
strength in their solidarity as sisters united in a common struggle. Continue!
Learn more about this cultural
tradition and how Garífuna women sing during the grating process to
heal their pain.
Did you know that yucca is a poisonous root that contains cyanide? Learn
what ancient technique the Garífuna use to extract this poison and prepare
casabe. Accompany Garífuna community members as they show you
step-by-step how to make casabe. Buy
fresh casabe online!