Walter Roth hosts exciting ‘exhifair’ in observance of Indigenous Heritage Month
The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology and the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport have added to Indigenous Heritage Month celebration by hosting its annual Amerindian Myths, Legends and Oral Traditions programme.
The activity which also included a fair was dubbed an ‘Exhifair,’ which will last for a total four days under the theme is “Archaeological Discoveries 1966-2015.” The objectives of the Exhifair are to highlight the contributions made by Guyanese Archaeologists, to spark interest in the minds of young people about Archaeology and edifying the public in this discipline, since it is deemed underexploited.
In a press release, the Department of Culture described the event as momentous and historic not only because it was done in observance of Indigenous Heritage month, but more particularly, during the year of Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary.
In her remarks, the Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry recognized that the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. She said special mention must be made of Dr. Dennis Williams, because it was his collections that founded the museum in 1974.
Minister Henry expressed hope that the items on display will be appreciated and also motivate and inspire, especially the young people to create a future for themselves in the art community, be it as a hobby or a profession.
Guyana’s first female resident archeologist, Ms. Louisa Daggers, Coordinator of the Amerindian Research Unit – University of Guyana in her presentation explained that archaeology “is a service that enables academics and practitioners to inform the public of our past, while enabling the public to be involved.”
She disclosed that over the last 50 years Guyana has made significant contributions to the development of pre-historic archaeology, scientific research and public participation in archaeology. Thus far there are 460 documented sites; 22 of which were recorded over the last four years.
Given that it is Indigenous Heritage Month; aspects of indigenous life would be portrayed using craft work, food and demonstrations via a miniature indigenous village setting. In addition various archaeological exercises would be conducted catering for nursery, primary and secondary schools as well as the general public.
Some of these include archaeological pit testing of a plot in the yard, which is basically an excavation exercise; above ground surveys and ceramic analysis.