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Our Indigenous Heritage

Guyana Folk Festival 2017, “Celebrating Our Indigenous Heritage,” is an opportunity to collect and
update our knowledge about Guyana’s place in the 200,000-year history of Homo sapiens. In his
Prehistoric Guyana, Guyanese archeologist Denis Williams concluded that earliest Homo sapiens settlers
in Guyana were the Warrau, who arrived about 12,000 years ago.

Over these millennia, Guyana’s indigenous peoples have settled along the coast, in the forests,
savannahs and mountains regions of Guyana. Their responses to these environments have influenced
who we are today. Guyanese are inheritors of this long and rich heritage.

The 2017 Folk Festival season allows us to explore this history in many ways. Our signature events will
provide opportunities to participate in conversations, witness performances, and savor its cuisine.
The purpose of this site is to collect and to share available existing information about Guyana’s
indigenous heritage, including regional and hemispheric connections.

We bridgin …

Read more about our indigenous heritage by exploring below



Guyana Folk Festival CELEBRATING OUR INDIGENOUS HERITAGE August 30 to September 3, 2017 Brooklyn, New York Timehri petroglyphs and Guyanese style … The ancient petroglyphs and their contemporary incarnations have a special place in the Guyanese psyche. They symbolize longevity and the long rootedness of humanity—a special pulse in the Guyanese spirit. It is national […]



MAPPING OUR INDIGENOUS HERITAGE Over the next few months we will be posting materials as contributions to the exploration of our indigenous heritage. Here are three maps from publications by Deryck Bernard, Denis Williams, and Neil L. Whitehead.    



In his book “Prehistoric Guyana,” Denis Williams identifies the following phases in the history of archeological research in Guyana: 1. 16th Century: Lauren Storm van’s Gravesande “Though lacking somewhat in constancy, the history of archeological investigations in Guyana is of an antiquity that is comparable to any elsewhere in the Americas. The quest of the […]



The aim of the 2017 Guyana Folk Festival in Brooklyn, New York is to provide the Guyanese, Caribbean and Brooklyn communities with a satisfying introduction to Guyana’s indigenous heritage and creativity. Each of the signature events for the season will contribute to this goal. For example, one of the themes to be explored at this […]