Learn more about Indigenous crafting in Guyana

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As part of our Indigenous crafting project in Guyana, we’re releasing today a short stop-motion video that gives a quick overview of the project aims. The focus of the project is craft associated with food, whether that is growing and catching food, harvesting and preparing food, cooking food and of course, eating food! What can you see in the video and how do you think it’s used? Keep tuned as we bring you updates about the project, and introduce you … Read More

Covid-19 impacts on Indigenous food sovereignty, livelihoods and biodiversity, Guyana – the findings

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Our report presenting work from a Darwin Initiative Covid-19 Rapid Response grant that ran from January to March 2021 in the North Rupununi, Guyana is now available. Download it from here. With a long-term aim to enhance Indigenous food sovereignty and agroecological knowledge that sustains livelihoods, culture and biodiversity, we were interested in exploring how Indigenous communities have been impacted by and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. More specifically, we looked at local livelihoods, leadership, and if/how farming activities changed, … Read More

Indigenous women: keepers of sacred knowledge

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  Indigenous women are distinct knowledge-holders, as well as agents of change and community cohesion at the local level. In this video we hear from women in the North Rupununi, Guyana about their views and concerns on traditional knowledge in their communities. National governments and international organizations need to pay attention to the gender aspects of traditional knowledge. Women play a vital role in the survival and development of Indigenous communities, sustaining traditional knowledge as a dynamic and living body … Read More

Ceramics, food and Indigenous identity

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Why does food taste so good cooked in and eaten off clay vessels? Exactly one year ago, I was in the Rupununi, Guyana working with potters from Fly Hill. The aim was to revalorise the crafting process of Indigenous pottery, with the goal to create an economic livelihood and strengthen Indigenous identity. Six Makushi potters were involved: Combrencent Ernest, Latea Hendricks, accompanied by her three-month year old daughter, Timmy Hendricks, Everisto James, Nicodemus Lawrence and Janet Charles.  During our time … Read More

Progress towards greater recognition and integration of traditional knowledge in Guyana

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The Darwin Initiative ‘Integrating Traditional Knowledge into National Policy and Practice‘ project has been working closely with Indigenous communities associated with protected areas in Guyana since its commencement in September 2017. The focus has been on the valuable role of traditional knowledge for maintaining cultural heritage, and the application of such knowledge, practices and innovations towards improving the management of the country’s natural resources. As highlighted in the country’s Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040, “Traditional Indigenous knowledge is valid … Read More

Why should we care about Indigenous knowledge to save the world?

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The latest global assessment on nature and biodiversity, released in Paris on 6 May paints a dire picture on the state of biodiversity on Earth: One Million species are threatened of extinction if us humans do not radically change our ways and perform transformative changes to restore and protect Nature. Indigenous peoples manage or have tenure rights over land that intersects about 40% of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes, highlighting how the maintenance of a significant share … Read More

How Indigenous knowledge contributes to Mother Earth

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Mother Earth is a common expression for our planet in a number of countries and regions. It is intended to reflect the inter-linkages that exist among the natural world and people. These include the interactions and interdependencies between the many natural processes occurring around us every day and all other living things. The Earth’s ecosystems provide the entire planet with fresh air, clean water and a host of other services which people benefit from – sometimes even unknowingly. Sadly, due … Read More

Travelling South: my first field trip

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Betsy Alvin, an intern on the Darwin Initiative Traditional Knowledge in Conservation in Guyana project, reflects on her visit community visit. Well! This was my first experience on a field trip going anywhere to do project work. Mr Bernie couldn’t go because his mom was ill and Ms. Rebecca couldn’t go by herself so they called me and said to pack because you are heading south. Going along with us would be Mr Neville Adolph, the new project community liaison … Read More

Parikwarunawa – Land of the heavy breeze!

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Continuing our trip, we moved from Maruranau to Parikwarunawa. Just after concluding the video screening, the team began packing to make an early departure the next day. Sigh! But it was not time for home and more so Christmas yet! But it was on my mind as we packed. We left on the 11th December for the next village clear back across the savanna to the south central district of the Rupununi. Close to Lethem that you could almost touch … Read More

Pantani Book – 33 Amerindian Tales from the North Rupununi, Guyana

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If you happen to visit the Rupununi region of Guyana, and take a hike with a local guide, it is likely you will hear plenty of fascinating stories and legends, as it happened to me. At the end of January 2014, I travelled to the south of Guyana with a group of researchers and had an opportunity to visit a place called ‘Skull Mountain’. During the trip, our local guide shared many tales and stories about the rivers, and valleys … Read More

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