Shulinab hosts South Rupununi Heritage celebrations
DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 15, 2017
Cultural groups from Awarewaunau, Maruranau, Baitoon, Parikwaranau, Quiko and Sand Creek, were among the many rich features of the South Rupununni Heritage Day celebration, this year. Attired in their traditional wear, they danced, sang, performed skits and rituals, in their respective dialects.
The Village of Shulinab hosted the activity on Wednesday, September 14. The event saw the attendance of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock and Social Cohesion Minister Dr. George Norton, among other top regional officials.
The activities got underway with a smoking ceremony. Using one of their traditional plants, the residents danced around the Village Benab smoking the building and chanting in their language. According to indigenous beliefs, smoke chases away evil spirits. This was followed by a rich cultural display of the deep south communities.
Minister Allicock applauded the South Rupununi Village for leading in the preservation of their culture, their way of life, and the community’s development.
“I had the opportunity to travel the country over, and you are in the lead, you are thinkers, planners and you are a people with a continued persistence in getting things done, you have a vision and the will, and that is what is important for the development of your communities”, Minister Allicock emphasised.
The Minister explained that the Government has redirected power into the hands of every region in the country, this means that the all regional officials share a responsibility to ensure their constituents’ voices are heard. He urged the residents to collaborate with their local representatives to further develop their communities.
Noting that Region Nine has two protected areas; the Kanuku Mountain and the Konashen Community Owned Conservation area, Minister Allicock addressed the need to protect and sustain the environment, whilst generating an income from it.
He also urged the Shulinab residents to employ their rich culture and knowledge of the environment to develop tourism packages to attract visitors.
Commending them for preserving their culture and language, Minister George Norton noted that while the Georgetown aspect of the Heritage celebration was impressive, the South Rupununi observance was “the real thing”.
“I feel special today, and while Shulinab is the ideal village and is the only Makushi village in the south, both Wapashiana and Makushi are in one place celebrating, which is social cohesion in action.”
He reminded them to always remain true to their culture, “You’ve got a language, you’ve got a culture, you’ve got land, you, therefore, consider yourself as a nation”.
The event wrapped up with cassava making, piwari drinking, and basket weaving competitions. There was also a football competition and the second appearance of the South Rupununi queens.
By: Synieka Thorne