Hundreds turn out at Rupununi Music and Arts festival

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Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock as he performs his cultural piece
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock as he performs his cultural piece

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Indigenous Peoples Affairs Minister, Sydney Allicock proved that he has not lost touch with his roots when he arrived at the 2nd Annual Rupununi Music and Arts Festival on a horse.

Three-day festival, which is being held at the Rock View Lodge, Annai, North Rupununi, saw hundreds of Guyanese and foreigners enjoying the colourful variety of exotic sights and sounds of the Guyanese Indigenous culture amidst the splendor of the Rupunini savannahas.

This event kicked off on September 18, with Indigenous groups displaying their way of life, through music, dance, poetry and storytelling. Minister Allicock   captivated the crowd with his grand entrance on a horse, while telling his story titled, “Cattle Rearing.”

Performing also were; JJ Kent, a Native Indian, from the United States, the Samba Group from Brazil, Maya of Suriname, a rock band from Georgetown, as well as other groups, portraying beautiful Indian customs, reggae and jazz music. There were also booths displaying local craft, paintings and food.

Traditional storyteller, cultural educator, speaker, dancer and recording artist, J.J Kent, of the United States during his presentation
Traditional storyteller, cultural educator, speaker, dancer and recording artist, J.J Kent, of the United States during his presentation

Present also were Minister of Tourism, Cathy Hughes, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

During the feature address at the opening of the event, Minister Hughes highlighted the importance of music in the development of the local tourism sector.

It is the diversity of the Guyanese culture that provides the blueprint for music as a driver for tourism, said Minister Hughes. She explained that music, because it is the backdrop of our lives, creates the ambiance that gives our space its uniqueness.

According to Hughes, the creations from the local musicians portray Guyana as a unique place that will naturally attract others.

An Indigenous girl performing her piece entitled “A proud Makushi girl”
An Indigenous girl performing her piece entitled “A proud Makushi girl”

“When visitors hear our music, they would want to see who created it, where it was created and what was the spectacular forces that contributed to such creation. Music sells our image and make people want to see more of our products,” Hughes said.

She said that the Tourism Ministry is on its way to adding the festival on its calendar of activities, as an eco-festival. The aim is to attract more visitors from all around the world.

She also spoke of creating an enabling environment in which the talents of Guyanese, involved in the creative industries, can grow. Already, music has been enshrined into schools’ curriculum so that persons from a very small age can get involved.

One of the local groups during their performance
One of the local groups during their performance

The festival also provided workshops on craft and paintings. These workshops were conducted by representatives from the EU Delegation in Guyana and other groups from Georgetown. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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