Education In Focus
Guyana's indigenous population
Guyana Chronicle
April 13, 2004

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AMERINDIANS are considered the third largest group in Guyana. They also represent the fastest growing group in the country, accounting for approximately 55, 000 of Guyana's population.

Amerindians in Guyana belong to nine different tribes: Arawaks, Caribs, Warraus, Macusis, Wapisianas, Akawaios, Patamonas, Arecunas and Wai Wais. Their languages and culture distinguish these tribes.

There are currently more than 120 Amerindian communities in Guyana with individual populations ranging from 120 through more than 6,000.

The majority of Amerindians, especially those in the remote areas of the hinterland, are engaged in subsistence activities - farming, fishing, and hunting. There has been a shift to other activities as well and smaller numbers are self-employed in mining, fishing and manufacturing as artisans. Of the ten Administrative Regions of the country, Regions One (Barima/Waini), Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro/Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) are classified as hinterland regions.

Hinterland Region Tribe Geographic Area
One Warrau/Arawak/Carib 7, 671(square miles)
Seven Akawaio/Arecuna 18,369(square miles)
Eight Patamona/Macusi 7,632(square miles)
Nine Macusi/Wapisiana/Wai Wai 22,647(square miles)

N.B. Gunns in Region Nine is the only Wai Wai village in the country. (Source: GINA)