Garifuna model Joyjah Estrada makes a splash at Black Panther Universe screening

Joyjah Estrada
Joyjah Estrada

The culture of the Garifuna people made its debut in the Black Panther Universe as Belizean model and social media influencer Joyjah Estrada attended the film’s Hollywood screening last Wednesday decked to the nines in a traditional dress.

Estrada wore the striking outfit, which features the yellow, black and white colours of the Garifuna flag, as she mixed and mingled with celebrities like Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke.

Olive Miranda Nunez, who is from Estrada’s hometown Hopkins Village, designed the dress.

Estrada, who is herself Garifuna, wrote on Instagram: “This one’s dedicated to the culture! “

“Feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world and so proud. Moments like this one is bigger than me and I was so sure I wanted to wear my traditional Garifuna Outfit.”

Members of the Garifuna community have praised Estrada for using the platform presented to her to showcase Garifuna culture.

“Garifuna Girl Magic! Thank you @joyjah for showcasing our people on the world stage,” one woman wrote on Instagram.

“We admire Joyjah’s authenticity, always showcasing her culture and home- Belize!” the Belize Tourism Board wrote.

Garifuna women’s group

The Garifuna are the descendants of over 2,500 indigenous Arawak, Kalinago and escaped African slaves who were forcibly removed from the island of St Vincent to Roatan in Honduras by the British after the Carib Wars that took in the late 1700s.

Descendants of the initial group have spread along the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.

The largest Garifuna communities in Central America are located in Honduras and Belize.