Indigenous Heritage 2020: Traditional tools

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Traditional tools are an essential aspect of Indigenous life, even to today. From the use of clay for pottery, making of warashees, matapee and mats from various palm tree leaves by weaving or plaiting, or crafting bows and arrows for hunting purposes, we see a wealth of knowledge about the natural resources needed and the skills to craft the products. This knowledge is not well documented, but rather, as most traditional knowledge is, kept alive through the share of knowledge from one generation to the next. Sadly, many acknowledge that some of these traditional crafting skills are being lost and efforts need to be quickened to better promote and ensure its preservation.

Today’s video comes to you once again from the village of Maruranau. It features several traditional tools used by the Wapishan nation, with their usage ranging from hunting and fishing to food preparation and cultural beliefs/practices. Clearly, traditional tools are an important aspect of Indigenous culture and it showcases the abundantly rich traditional knowledge of our Indigenous peoples. This video was made by community researchers from the Darwin Initiative Traditional Knowledge in Conservation­ project in efforts to help build appreciation and respect for Indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge.

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Deirdre Jafferally
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Deirdre Jafferally has 17 years’ experience working in community based wildlife management and conservation. Deirdre first started working at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Guyana in the area of environmental monitoring. Recently, Deirdre has focused her interest in community resource management and Indigenous knowledge in the pursuit of a PhD exploring the implications of socio-ecological changes on Indigenous knowledge and practices, and its impact on forest conservation. She holds a BSc in Biology and MES in Sustainable Development and Ecological Monitoring.