INDIGENOUS Peoples Affairs Minister, Sydney Allicock proved Friday that he has not lost touch with his roots when he arrived on horseback at the Annual Rupununi Music and Arts Festival.The three-day Fest, which is being held at the Rock View Lodge at Annai, in the North Rupununi, saw hundreds of Guyanese and foreigners enjoying the colourful variety of exotic sights and sounds of the Guyanese Indigenous culture amidst the splendour of the Rupunini savannahs.
The event kicked off Thursday with Indigenous groups displaying their way of life through music, dance, poetry and storytelling. Minister Allicock’s grand entrance, vaquero style, was made all the more interesting by his telling of a story entitled, “Cattle Rearing”.
Live performances also came from JJ Kent, a Native American Indian from the USA; a Samba Group out of Brazil; a Surinamese named Maya; and a rock band from Georgetown.
Minister of Tourism, Catherine Hughes, who gave the feature address, spoke at length about the importance of music to 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, she said. And music, because it is the backdrop of our lives, creates the ambiance that gives our space its uniqueness.
“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,” Minister Hughes said.
As for the event at hand, Minister Hughes said her ministry is about to add it to its calendar of activities in the hope of attracting even more visitors to these shores.
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 in schools’ curriculum, so that persons, from a very small age, can get involved.
The ‘Rupununi’ festival also provided workshops on craft and paintings, which were conducted by representatives from the EU (European Union) Delegation in Guyana and other groups from Georgetown.
Noting that the Festival was well supported this year, Minister Allicock said that events such as these allow for Guyanese, especially the Indigenous population, to showcase their way of life, and at the same time provide the opportunity for the exchange of cultures, both local and foreign, through art, craft, music, dance, and food. This, he said, is very important for the educational aspect of one’s development.
Present also were Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams; and members of the Diplomatic Corps. (GINA)