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There are nine Amerindian tribes’ settled across the ten administrative Regions of Guyana. Amerindians were said to be the very first inhabitants of the land. They share a rich and diverse culture and are one of the many ethnic groups that make up the people of Guyana.

These tribes are:

WAI WAIS

These skilled architects of indigenous dwelling were fittingly tasked with the construction of the landmark Umana Yana. Expert weavers and bead designers, the members of this tribe love to dress up with cotton clothing and beaded ornaments. Their hairstyles are also works of art and they are very sociable people. The Wai Wais occupy the extreme south of the Rupununi Savannah.


MACUSHIS

Richard Schomburgh described this tribe as one of the most beautiful tribes of Guyana. The curare poison, which they blew, is used on the lips of their arrow and bow. This orderly tribe can be found in the Northern Rupununi Savannah.


PATOMONAS

This tribe can be found mainly in the Northern Pakaraimas Mountains, as well as in the South Pakaraimas and the Essequibo region. Kaieteur Falls was named after Old Kaie, who was a member of the Patomona tribe.


ARAWAKS

These coastal dwellers are skilled in fishing. They also plant cassava in abundance. This is their staple food, which is used to prepare many dishes and alcoholic drink called piwari.


CARIBS

The Caribbean was named in honour. This is a warlike tribe who called themselves “Karina” and were feared and respected by more peaceful communities. Caribs have settled in the Barama and Pomeroon rivers, and on the coast of the North West district.

The tribe cultivated cotton, which they spun into cloth with spindles and coloured with dyes from the barks and leaves of trees.


WAPISHANA

Described as the most adaptable travellers, this tribe is famous for its industry and trading skills. They are also expert trackers, as well as weavers of hammocks, canoe makers, hunters and farmers.


ARECUNAS

Originating from the Caron, a large tributary of the Orinoco, this tribe is located on the banks of the Kamarang river. In the olden days they grew cotton in commercial quantities, which they traded to the other tribes. Their weapon of choice was the blow-gun and they were experts in its manufacture.


AKAWAIOS

This warlike tribe travelled from village to village, carrying the news and trading other tribes. They also, love to use the blow-pipe. Members of the tribe are located in the Upper Mazaruni area, on the Barama, Upper Pomeroon, Demerara Wenamu, and the Upper Cuyuni rivers.


WARRAUS

This tribe lives in the swamps and marshes of the North West District, in the low-lying areas of the Barima and Pomeroon rivers and their tributaries.





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