Amerindian cultural fest opens Saturday at the National Park

Stabroek News
August 9, 2001

The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) will host a cultural celebration, Etauchigpang (the Arecuna word for `we celebrate') over two days beginning on Saturday.

According to a release from the APA Central office, the festival, which is scheduled to take place at the National Park between 1400 hrs - 2200 hrs, is the first of its kind to be held. It will headline Amerindian music and dance, art and craft, and other cultural items including skits, traditional stories, poems and songs in each of the various Amerindian languages. Several dance items such as Swallow and Paingue by the Patamonas, the Bemichi, the Tengereh, Hurrup and Galerong dances by the Arawaks, and the Parishara dance by the Wapishanas will also be done.

The release indicated that participants representing Guyana's nine Amerindian tribes -- Wai Wais, Macushis, Arecunas, Akawaios, Caribs, Warraus, Patamonas, Awaraks and Wapishanas -- will be present at the event. An ancestral naming ceremony, conducted by a spiritual leader, in which persons will accept traditional Amerindian names, along with an archery competition between the Wai Wais and the Wapishanas, will also form part of the activities.

Awards are to be presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to the growth and progress of the Amerindian society in various ways, during a special function, the release said.

The APA and the indigenous peoples of the interior extend an invitation to the entire Guyanese public to share in and support this cultural festivity which is expected to showcase several traditional foods and drinks including toma and cadacura, piwari, kazak, parakari and farine and tasso, the release further stated.