Traditional Wayana Crafts part of humanity’s heritage to be protected

The Wayana are one of the Amerindian communities to be found in French Guiana. They live in the south-west of the territory around Maripasoula. It is estimated that there is a population of about 1000 inhabitants in French Guiana, but their territory stretches into Brazil (in the Paru d’Este) and Suriname (in the Tapanahoni). It is estimated that in all there are somewhere between 1600 and 1800 Wayana. Their language belongs to the Carib language family, like that of the Kali’na who live on the coast (Awala-Yalimapo, Mana, Iracoubo, and so on). But their way of living is closer to that of the Wayãpi who live around Camopi, on the banks of the Oyapock (Camopi, Trois Sauts), and the Teko (Emerillons) who live around Camopi and Maripasoula. The other Amerindian groups living in French Guiana are the Arawak (Balaté village in St Laurent du Maroni, and Ste Rose de Lima in Matoury), and the Palikur (Tonate-Macouria, Favard (Roura), and St Georges de l’Oyapock). There are also Tiriyo and Apalaï who live on the Litani (Upper Maroni) near or even in Wayana villages. The current group of Wayana results from the fusion of several Amazonian ethnic groups to have suffered from "epidemic shock" after the conquest. They have been in French Guiana since the eighteenth century, having come down the Marouini and Litani rivers from the region of the Tumuk Humak mountains where they had been living since the fifteenth century. They currently live on the Litani and Tampok ...

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