As September is Amerindian Heritage month in Guyana, the people of Yupukari, together with satellite communities, celebrated the mini-heritage. Some of the activities in competition included basket weaving, fire lighting, parakari making – and dinking, cassava grating and bread baking, canoeing, archery, Amerindian pepper-pot cooking and many more.
A man attending his first Amerindian Heritage said:
“Wow! What an interesting knowledge, stunning skills and most beautiful art and craft of Indigenous peoples.”
“Oh Yeah,” responded an old man.
“This is the special month for all Indigenous peoples in Guyana. And even before celebrating this special month, traditionally the residents here had heritage everyday with them.”
“Okay, what are the things they did every day?” the man asked.
“We always had or offered a bowl of woe/parakari, strong or sweet, and Amerindian pepper-pot,” the old man responded.
“Great! But how do you get meat around here?” he asked once more.
“Well you have to be a great hunter and that’s why we have archery in competition and this is the man’s weapon to attract girls. Don’t worry with fishing nets and guns here. Bow and arrow last longer than the net,” the old man teased him, adding “I have a daughter for you but you really have to shoot straight!”
“So I really have to kill that moving cartoon animal” the man assumed.
“Practice makes perfect, son” the old man reassured him.
“Let see,” said the man.
And the man took part to the archery competition. But he missed the moving cartoon animal on its tail, thereby giving up his Amerindian girl.
“Ooops.. I really wanted you to be my son-in-law, man…” said the smiling old man.
“I thought I would have shot it on its heart and unluckily I haven’t even winked one of my eye on any girl yet” said the poor man.
“It’s never too late son but you could have really winked both of your eyes and got your luck,” the wicked old man teased him. “And you know what? Koli, black, chinese and white people food does take time to serve, but we get the fastest food which is sheba that would not burn your mouth”
“Ok Uncle” said the man.
After a challenging exercise, the man then sat down and watched the rest of the events.
The old man was really telling him something true about Amerindian traditions: Great hunters and hardworking men were the ones that were given a girl.
I was happy to see proud Amerindians continue maintaining what has been done for centuries by our ancestors and the first people of Guyana. And more so we all celebrate Amerindian Heritage to promote the growth of Amerindian culture.
Picture: Gustavo Oliveira. “17-year-old Jardel Kambeba takes aim”. Source: The Telegraph.