Indigenous Heritage 2020: Importance of Cassava bread making

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As highlighted in one of last week’s featured videos, cassava is an important crop that is cultivated by the Indigenous peoples of Guyana. Cassava bread and farine are well known foods of Indigenous peoples here. Both are made from the cassava root after being grated and squeezed dry using a matapee. From there, baking produces the cassava ‘bread’, while frying produces the farine. Both end-products are known to last for long periods before being unsuitable for consumption if stored properly. … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Story of Horse Pond

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  Storytelling is one way in which Indigenous people pass knowledge down through the generations. It is an ongoing process linking the past to the present, and the present to the past and future. Storytelling is therefore important in transmitting essential and critical knowledge for survival and ensuring a healthy and sustainable community. Stories have many functions. They help to provide guidance on how people should behave and understand their responsibilities to their neighbours and the environment. They acknowledge the … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: The story of Elka and Christianity

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  Our next video represents the historical stories that can be told about a people. In this case it is the impact one man can have on his community. The story is of Elka of the Wai Wai. Elka was a great Wai Wai Chief of recent history who changed the spiritual course of his community. Called to be a Piaiman or shaman, Elka spent many years training to hone his craft. He was believed to be a very powerful … Read More

Amerindian Heritage Celebrations 2020

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Amerindian Heritage is an annual celebration of Guyana’s Indigenous peoples throughout the month of September. It is linked to Guyana’s first Indigenous Parliamentarian, Stephen Campbell from the Arawak nation of Moruca (Santa Rosa) in the north-west region of Guyana, who was sworn into Parliament on September 10, 1957. Every year Guyana’s Indigenous people take time to remember his achievements at a time when there was little to no representation of the rights and interests of Indigenous people in Guyana. The … Read More

My first community visit as a researcher

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Ena George joined the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) as a community researcher for the Darwin traditional knowledge project at the start of the year. As a young community researcher, here she reflects on her first community engagement visit. It was a day I will always remember – 20th May 2019. I had been in anticipation of this day because it would be the first time that I would travel to Crashwater village as a researcher. That morning, as … Read More