BACKGROUND TO THE RUPUNUNI WEAVERS MUSEUM 

The Rupununi Weavers Society Museum was founded in 1994 as an initiative of the Rupununi Weavers Society. The museum is situated in a five-and-a-half acre compound, donated by the Regional Administration. It overlooks a vast stretch of savannahs towards the Kanuku Mountains, and is just five minutes walk from Moco Moco Creek. The 250-old items in its collections were donated by the residents of some 20 communities in the area.

 

THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE RUPUNUNI SAVANNAS

The earliest known inhabitants of Guyana appear to have been attracted to the jasper of the Pakaraima Mountains, with which they manufactured a range of highly characteristic stone tools. Today, the distribution of these tools tells us a good deal about the areas they occupied. A few have been found in the Ireng River Valley and some in the Rupununi Savannas, which therefore are amongst the earliest occupied parts of the country.

Until around 5000 years ago, the Rupununi vegetation oscillated between savanna woodland and open savanna. Open savanna prevailed there only between 5000 and 3000 years ago. So it seems that the first inhabitants of the savannas hunted and fished in an environment different from that of the present day.

Only those tools and implements that they made in stone survive, chiefly arrowheads, axe-heads and carvings. Studying them tells us a good deal about the culture of their makers, and even about when they lived. The very earliest period is called the Paleoindian, about 11,000 years ago. Then came the Archaic Period, about 7000 years ago, then the Horticultural Period, about 3550 years ago. The artifacts in the savannas represent all three periods. There is no better place for them than in the Rupununi Weavers Museum.

Dennis Williams
Director
Walter Wroth Museum of Anthropology
Georgetown
Guyana, South America

The Rupununi Weavers Society Museum, which is owned by the membership of the Rupununi Weavers Society, was incorporated into the Outreach Programme of the Walter Roth Museum in 1995. With living quarters on its site, bone fide international students wishing to do research can apply to the Walter Roth Museum for use of its low-cost accommodation.

This museum has a focus on its Junior Archeology Program to educate indigenous youths as to their culture and Heritage.

Please send applications through:

WALTER ROTH MUSEUM ANTHROPOLOGY
MAIN STREET, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA.
P.O. BOX 10187 TEL: 592-02-58486 FAX; 592-02-58511


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