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Guyana Celebrates Amerindian Heritage Month

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A beautiful young woman from Orealla Village, Region 6, poses for a Heritage Photo. Credit: Orealla: The Place of My Birth

1st of September, 2020. Guyana, South America.

Last updated: September 1, 2020 at 13:13 pm

During the month of September each year, Guyanese celebrate Amerindian Heritage Month, also called Indigenous Heritage Month. The principal aim of the tradition is to showcase the rich diversity of Indigenous craft, cooking, art forms, culture and lifestyle in general. It is a month dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Guyana’s first people to the country of Guyana and also to raising more awareness and education about Indigenous culture in Guyana, South America.

The tradition of dedicating the month of September to Indigenous Heritage dates back to 1957. The first Amerindian Parliamentarian, Stephen Campbell, was selected for Parliament on September 10, 1957. This day (September 10) was since recognized as Amerindian Heritage Day. In 1995, then Prime Minister of Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, designated September as Amerindian Heritage Month.

This year (2020), the theme of Amerindian Heritage Month is ‘Fostering Traditional Practices for a Safe Environment.’ During the month of September, a series of events are usually held to showcase Amerindian culture and talents. These include song and dance, skits, art and craft exhibitions and sales, Indigenous cuisine etc.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the activities of Amerindian Heritage Month 2020 may be somewhat restricted, however, residents all across Guyana will be unified in the spirit and excitement of Amerindian Heritage Month 2020.

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