– during handing over ceremony
THE 2015 Indigenous Heritage Month was given the green light on Saturday afternoon when contractor Colin Andrews officially handed over the new Indigenous Village to Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe. The village, based at the Sophia Exhibition Complex, will house most of the activities of this year’s celebration.
Andrews delivered on his 21-day promise which he had made prior to starting construction. He told the gathering that with his staff of 21 they were able to refurbish several benabs, while building three new ones.
The workers, who travelled from Moraikobai, Region Five, also constructed a benab where persons can sit and eat comfortably, and an indigenous bar at the northern side of the village.
Minister Garrido-Lowe was ecstatic with the village and promised to maximise its use way beyond the Heritage Month celebration.
She said she was extremely impressed with the level of craftsmanship that has gone into the buildings, especially since it continues to represent all the indigenous peoples of the country.
“This is truly a remarkable village; I have never seen the Indigenous village look so good. All credit must go to Andrews and his team who worked tirelessly over the last three weeks.”
Minister Lowe said that her Ministry aims to make the Indigenous Village an all-year venue. She pointed to it becoming a weekend getaway for people in the city who want to experience Indigenous life.
“We will have Indigenous experiences every weekend. Sometimes it might be making cassava bread, making of hammocks, indigenous crafts or the cooking of delectable indigenous meals.”
She pointed out that in the near future the aim is to dredge the canal that runs through the village, so that persons can experience canoeing in the city.
“The Indigenous culture should be experienced by all Guyana, it is not just meant for the Indigenous population.”
“Having this Heritage Village in the capital promotes the Indigenous way of life; the tranquillity that resonates in Indigenous Communities can now be experienced in Georgetown. This village will promote nature and the environment in a very sustainable way.”
There was also a prayer ceremony by Catholic Priest Father Jerry Dias, who blessed the village.
Heritage Month activities start today with an Inter-Faith Service, followed by the official launch on Tuesday at the village in Sophia which begins a six-day cultural extravaganza with performances from notable Indigenous groups. Also on the cards will be a Stephen Campbell symposium (September 10), an art exhibition at the Castellani House (from September 7), a fashion show, a beauty pageant slated for the National Cultural Centre, a charity dinner at the village and a sports weekend.
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