Exhibitors grateful for opportunity to display Amerindian culture
The preservation of indigenous craft and culture remains an important aspect of the Amerindian Heritage Month festivities.
Every September, Guyanese from all walks of life turn out in their numbers to witness and portray the wonder and originality of Amerindian culture.
On Sunday, the Department of Public Information (DPI) took its cameras to the Sophia Exhibition Centre, where exhibitors expressed their pride in nurturing and preserving indigenous values through a colourful display of art, craft, and cuisine.
Roger Evelyn, co-owner of Rave Designs, said his craft is built on a foundation of preserving the unadulterated originality of indigenous craft while making it marketable for the modern Guyanese.
“The whole idea behind Rave Designs is having quality products that display a sense of Guyana, and the variety of different artists that Guyana has. We try to balance it and display the different things that are good about Guyanese art and craft,” he said.
Evelyn said everyone has a responsibility to maintain their culture to ensure that Guyana remains a multicultural society.
For Pauline Chance, the Amerindian Heritage Month festivities bring a renewed sense of pride. Chance has been making crafts since childhood.
“I am so happy to be here. I am always excited to do my craft. Handicraft is a blessed work, and it is always exciting for people to come and see their culture,” the Kabakaburi native said.
Junior Rudolph, who displayed a fusion of indigenous and Afrocentric craft believes that the September festivities are representative of a One Guyana.
“I am happy to be here at yet another event that shows unification,” he told DPI.
For Keith George, the cultural festivities are a highlight of his year as they provide an opportunity to honour his ancestors, as well as capitalise on the preservation of indigenous culture.
He said, “I believe that traditionally, from our Amerindian descendants, culture is important to our generation. I find that it’s not only important to keep the culture, but it is also part of our development within our livelihood daily.”
Leomie Willis expressed similar thoughts, adding, “I’m proud that the government has such a thing happening here, so that we can get a chance to display and sell our product.”
Amerindian Heritage Month 2023 is celebrated against the theme “Sustaining Our Cultural Heritage and Identity While Contributing to One Guyana.”