Passing on the Knowledge
Indigenous Knowledge is Important for the Future
Handing down the wisdom of a people is done through passing that knowledge from one generation to the other, which is why we need to establish and maintain ways and means in order to do so. Some native people have immersion schools where the younger generation can learn the traditional ways.
As parents, it is important that we help our children to make wise choices. This can be a minefield because some of us have to choose from a variety of education types, while some of us have limited choices.
I have had to accommodate both a traditional and western education for my son, so opted for home schooling for part of his studies. While other children were in the classroom, he did academic work while exploring his traditions practically.
Today, he has benefited from both. He has western type academic qualifications and is qualified in his indigenous ways as well. Due to his type of education, he has decided to take a path to be of benefit to both his indigenous and non-indigenous community.
Traditional medicine plays an important role in indigenous health system. It also avoids dependency on western style medicine.
Our traditional medical practitioner has a very good reputation. He is very knowledgeable and uses his expertise for those of us who need and value it.
Expertise comes in many ways. A hunter would have years of experience as well as a wealth of knowledge in forest animal behaviour.
Kaiaping is where adults come together to help to do a common job that would need many hands and brains. It is a very handy system. No money is paid but there is an exchange of food and drink for work and good company.
Though some aspects of Amazonian culture such as the languages spoken can differ vastly, what is common is the close connection with the natural environment. Today, individual peoples still practice their distinct though similar culture.
One example of a practice that is similar yet still different is the preparation of fresh cassava bread by Caribs, Warraus and Lokonos for their everyday meal. Warraus tend to have a thicker, soft bread while the Lokono bread can be thinner but just as soft. Both are delicious, especially if eaten in combination with another type of food such as fruit, fish or meat. Lokonos, Warraus and Caribs of the lowlands depend on the forest for everyday sustenance.
The Natural Environment
Care is taken to keep the environment as alive and healthy as possible. It is an integral part of any indigenous community and from where the necessities of everyday life including rainforest medicine and materials for utility crafts are obtained. People observe their surroundings and even act as Sky Readers to help with determining their activities.
Land for cultivating as well as for harvesting needed resources is very important to the community. Waterways are important for travel and to get much needed proteins such as fish and shrimp. The natural environment has a calming as well as uplifting effect, so it is also part of the spiritual sustenance.
Basil Rodrigues, was familiarly known as Uncle Basil. He was a Lokono elder from Mariaba (Moruca), Guyana, South America.
He worked tirelessly to preserve Lokono culture especially the music.
Indigenous People - a song composition by Basil Rodrigues
Along the coast-land of Guyana
The indigenous people live
On the mountains, on the rivers
And the rolling highland savannas.
A peaceful people; ready to unite
To do what is right
In this our land we love.
Indigenous people of Guyana
This is the time for us
To help one another,
Our children for our future
The sun is shining on our people
And its brightness fixed in our minds
To uplift our standard to its apex
A legacy of our pride.
Many traditional people look to their surroundings to glean as much information as they can. And today people still rely on the sky for information.
Moon Prediction for the Lunar Cycle ahead
When the moon is new, it is observed for its position. Below, we share with you what we look for, in order to know what to do during the following lunar cycle.
Lokono or Arawak
Lokono Names for your Children