DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs on Thursday evening, hosted an interfaith service to usher in Indigenous Heritage Month 2017 which is being celebrated under the theme “Guyana’s First Peoples; Sustaining a rich Cultural Environment.”

First Lady Sandra Granger and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe being escorted by the Alleluia group at the Inter-Faith Service at the Heritage Village, Sophia.

The event was hosted at the Indigenous Village, Sophia, Georgetown and was attended by First Lady Sandra Granger, Minister with the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps and a diverse representation of the different religious faiths of Guyana.

This year’s Inter-Faith service was one with a difference with the First Lady and Minister Garrido-Lowe being escorted into the Benab by the ‘Alleluia Indigenous Group’ as they marched in groups of twos around the building chanting in their indigenous dialect.

Alleluia is the only traditional religion in Guyana and is practiced mostly by the people of the Upper Mazaruni and the Pakarimas. Alleluia means a solemn worship to the supreme father in heaven. Amokokopai, a small village in the Upper Mazaruni hosts the headquarters of the Alleluia church. Branches can also be found in Brazil and Venezuela, and they meet once a year to update records and deliver reports of the churches.

Members of the Alleluia group praying in their Indigenous dialect.

Prayers were also offered in the Arecona, Patamona, Wai-Wai and Makushi dialects welcoming everyone into the presence of God and asking the most high for wisdom and understanding.

There were also instrumentals from Dexel and Ronaldo Calistro from Kabakaburi, and songs from Kamarang and Bethany.

Indigenous Heritage Month activities will officially commence tomorrow with the heritage ceremonial launch where President David Granger will deliver the feature address.

There will a cultural extravaganza from September 01 to 05, where dance, songs, food, craft, and an art exhibition will be displayed at the Heritage Village. Also scheduled is the heritage pageant, sports, a fund-raising event and Reflections on the Life of Stephen Campbell.

The National Heritage Village is Pakuri Village – St Cuthbert’s Mission on September 09.


By: Synieka Thorne

A section of those who participated in the prayer session.

Dexel and Ronaldo Calistro during their rendition.


Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe as she welcomed those gathered at the event.


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