Exhibitors laud return of Amerindian Heritage festivities
– at Arts, Craft and Cuisine Exhibition
As more Guyanese become aware of the contributions made by the nation’s first people, the Amerindians, the month-long heritage celebration is gaining local attention and appreciation.
On Friday, patrons turned out in their numbers at the Sophia Exhibition Centre to support one of the Amerindian Heritage Month calendar activities, the Arts, Craft and Cuisine Exhibition.
Many of the exhibitors praised the return of the physical festivities, as it provides them with the welcomed opportunity to showcase their art pieces, cuisine, and hand-crafted ornaments.
Proprietor, Laura Boaventora noted enthusiastically that this is the first time she is participating in the event. She hails from Region Nine, but currently lives on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. Some of her products on display include pine wine, Lukanani and Tambaqui fish.
“I feel proud … Every heritage, you get something to sell. But not only here, but you know in the interior, you could go to another community to carry little stuff and you sell it to make your little money,” she noted.
Proprietor of Clinton’s Indigenous Cuisine, Region Five, Winston Clinton expressed, “we miss that celebration because of the COVID. Because we start for some years and every year we look forward to that time in the month of September. But because of the COVID, we couldn’t do anything else.”
Potato and capadulla wines are among some of his products.
Another vendor, Vilula Clinton shared her feelings about the celebration. “Well, for the past two years since we had the COVID. At least, I get relief right now, you feel free to come out again.”
Her products include Tambaqui and Aimara fish, bush cow, hog, labba, tuma, cassava bread and farine.
Another exhibitor, Duncan Albert expressed, “I’m happy to be here for the first time only. I enjoying it so far.”
Exhibitor, Patricia Smith eagerly related, “I’m feeling so proud as an Amerindian to come here and showcase the talent of my village. We have some arrows and bows here and some canoes made by young persons within the village. We have some paddles. We have some jewel box that made with tibisiri. We have earrings with buck beads and feathers. And we have the lucky sea bracelets. We have some small bags.”
One of the owners of Lethem Exclusive Apparel, Leroy Henridge noted that, “We also cater for people that are visiting our country, for people that are travelling different parts of the country. For example, we have products that represent the Rupununi. So, when you visit the Rupununi, if you want to take back something from there, if you want a memory to take back from the Rupununi. We have stuff that is available from there as well.”
Henridge revealed that the name of the business originates from his village. He disclosed that Lethem Exclusive Apparel aims to promote indigenous culture and Guyanese identity. He explained that the apparels can be worn throughout the year rather than waiting for heritage month.
The business recently launched one of its brands ‘I love Moruca’. Currently, the pick-up locations are North Road, Georgetown and Visit Rupununi, Lethem.
“So, as the time go by, you’ll see us introducing more Guyanese products. More products that can identify in different regions of Guyana,”he noted.
Amerindian Heritage Month is being celebrated under the theme ‘Celebrating our traditional culture while building One Guyana’.
Every year in September, Amerindian Heritage Month is observed. But this year’s festivities are back after a two-year hiatus due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other activities will be held throughout the month to showcase various aspects of the Amerindian art, cuisine, craft, dances, and sporting activities.