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Guyana plans indigenous music fest to preserve Amerindian tongues

Guyana plans indigenous music fest to preserve Amerindian tongues

Posted by Shanelle Weir on November 06, 2014

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Guyana will host this month an indigenous songs festival as part of an effort to preserve the Amerindian languages of the original inhabitants. The indigenous languages are often overlooked, Minister Frank Anthony said in a statement announcing "The Voices of the Forest" event.

The ministry has republished dictionaries for seven of Guyana's nine surviving Amerindian languages. The festival coordinator, Ovid Williams, is a member of the Amerindian Patamona people, who dwell in southwestern Guyana's Pakaraima Mountains.

Indigenous people are estimated to make up around 9 percent of Guyana's population of 760,000 inhabitants. 

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