Guyana’s rich Indigenous culture was showcased through music, storytelling and poetry at this evening’s, ‘Beyuka Irekida’ – a musical gathering in Arawak, at the Heritage Village, Sophia Exhibition Centre, Georgetown.
The event was an informal one where persons voluntarily performed in their respective Indigenous language to a packed audience of students from the Hinterland Student Dormitory, other Indigenous persons residing in Georgetown and guests.
The evening of musical entertainment aims to provide a platform for Indigenous peoples on the coast to gather to share their culture through the performing arts, and traditional handicraft while indulging in their unique cuisine.
Addressing the opening, Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock highlighted the importance of preserving one’s identity, noting that the evening’s activity presents a great opportunity for the people to promote the richness of the nine nations of Guyana.
“We need to use this opportunity to share and respect each other’s culture,” Minister Allicock urged.
The event coincides with the United Nation’s International Year of Indigenous Languages. Minister Allicock said the Indigenous languages play a significant role in the ‘Indigenous identity’ and therefore, it must be promoted and safeguard.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe explained that there is a sizable population of Indigenous peoples residing and pursuing studies in Georgetown. She said the officials at the ministry realised the Heritage Village, located in the Sophia Exhibition Centre, was the ideal meeting place to share and express themselves in their various Indigenous dialects and tradition.
Minister Garrido-Lowe announced that ‘Beyuka Irekida’ will be hosted the last Friday in every month. Food, arts and craft will also be on sale.
Last week, youths participated in a demonstration of craft-making at the Heritage Village. Some of the skills displayed included Macushi hammock weaving, straw skirts construction and the making of beaded necklaces.