Aishalton village hunters off to provide for the Christmas season
By Natasha Poon
Lucy the Explorer may have conquered the Kanuku mountains in 50 days but Wapichan hunters have for generations traversed their vast Wapichan WiiZi [pronounced WHEE-JSH-REE].
Every year, two weeks prior to Christmas, hunters and fishermen of the South Rupununi leave for sacred hunting, fishing and gathering grounds of the Tutu wao/ Toot area (famous for their abundance of Himara fish).
When they return, it is usually with an abundance of smoked or cured meats (tapir, deer venison, labba and many more ), an enticing variety of fish and sometimes fruits (Eta and Too Roo) for the much anticipated Christmas Luncheon.
On the morning of December 11, 2021, the Aishalton group of hunters – led by George Bush, the most experienced hunter, Community Development Officer Manley Thomas and Councillors – left on motorcycles. They will most likely meet the hunters of surrounding villages of Shea, Maruranau, Awarewanau, Karaudarnau and Achiwib at some of the sacred hunting and fishing grounds.
We can reminisce that the hunters of previous generations went on foot, then using bicycle. Our modern hunters will fortunately cover more grounds and bring back bulkier loads of food.
The women and remaining villagers will prepare farine, cassava bread and the various traditional drinks- Parakari, potato fly and fruit wines – for the upcoming festivities.
The entire village is praying for the hunters’ safe and successful return.
Toshao Michael has extended an open invitation to all for the Aishalton Christmas Luncheon which will be accompanied with games and much dancing until day-break.