Amerindians and perceptions

If one were to look at the heritage of Amerindian arts and culture in Guyana from the perspective of records and treatment in the colonial period one will find mixed attitudes and treatments – from serious study to superficiality, stereotyping and romanticism; from thorough and valuable documentation to disapproval and scepticism. 

Remembering A J Seymour’s Amalivaca

. . . Seven days now this womb of sacred waters Has made its marriage with oblivion Over the sounding cliff of rock and I Amalivaca in this tiny wedge Driven between the witness centuries, Have drowned my mind within the moving flood, Married my human to watery particles Searching the smoothness secret of its power.

Trinidad and Tobago: Fifty years on

The British Caribbean celebrates 50 years of nationhood in 2012.  Although most of the territories did not become independent until the years between 1966 and the 1970s, the age of ‘the Caribbean Nation’ is defined by the year 1962 when the first two islands gained Independence.

Celebrating the Guianas

The Guiana Shield is mostly defined in geographical and geological terms since its location, landscape, earth structure and vegetation are what define it.

The serious business of comedy

The Caribbean performance traditions have always included very strong forms of comedy. These have included indigenous forms, the influences of the popular culture, imported styles and various types of stage performance. 

The ‘Art’ of diplomacy

Over many years the Embassy of the United States of America in Georgetown has been involved in a range of artistic presentations in Guyana. 

The incomparable Philip Moore

By Alim Hosein It might be a trite expression, but indeed, the passing of Philip Moore – the Immanuel Kweku Moorji – marks the end of an era in Guyanese art.

The power of the jonkanoo parade

We have on different occasions reviewed the masquerade tradition in the Caribbean.  It is a very old and deep-rooted foundation of Caribbean culture with historical records that reach back to the seventeenth century, and is the most pervasive far-reaching and wide-ranging cultural practice known to the region. 

A look at David Dabydeen’s literature

Some years ago, David Dabydeen did a presentation on the close historical relationship between British art and sugar, articulating the association of art with the financial gains of African slavery in the West Indies.

Attempt at film industry continues

The attempts to build a Guyanese film industry continue. The latest contribution in this long-running saga is the new film A Jasmine for A Gardener directed by Mahadeo Shivraj and released in Georgetown last week. 

What is West Indian literature?

West Indian literature or the literature of the Caribbean provides an excellent illustration of the currently accepted understanding of what literature means. 

What is literature?

What is literature?  Definitions have gone far and wide and have included common misconceptions, and for quite a while, there has been a new understanding of what is considered literature where the academic study of it is concerned.

The Romantic and the Modern in a Hardy poem

The Darking Thrush I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires.

What is calypso?

What is calypso?  Many have attempted to answer that question, including a few calypsonians. 

Christmas: A religious and secular festival

Christmas is a religious festival, but it is much more than that.  It is Christian, and is one of those typical religious festivals that are expressions of belief with internal sacred rituals and worship, but which also have a large public outreach.  

A poet of the Harlem Renaissance

When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

The 32nd season

Guyana’s National Dance Company (NDC) performed its Season 32 on October 22 – 23, 2011 on the theme Hello Darkness. 

Engaging the Amerindian environment

The importance of the Amerindian heritage to the literature of Guyana has been articulated with specific reference to the fact that what is normally referred to as Guyanese literature includes Amerindian folk tales. 

A Haitian winner

Guyana Prize Chairman of the Jury Victor Ramraj in his official report commented on the excellence of the poetry in the Guyana Prize 2010 which prompted the panel to select a shortlist of six books.