• LAND

    LAND

    The case of the Akawaio and Arekuna of the Upper Mazaruni District, Guyana

  • LAND

    LAND

    Its occupation, management, use and conceptualization

  • LAND

    LAND

    Author: Dr Audrey J. Butt Colson

LAND: Dr Audrey Butt Colson


Dr. Colson addresses the problems facing the Akawaio (Kapong) and Arekuna (Pemong) people of the upper Mazaruni basin, Guyana, relating to their claims to ancestral land occupation and rights.

Interrelating land occupation and different levels of structure, she describes the indigenous modes of management and use of land resources and elucidates the basic principles of property ownership and social obligation. An analysis of the conceptual system highlights vital relationships between the communities' their environment and its seasonal changes'

The work is divided into two parts;

The first uses archaeological findings, primary sources and exploration accounts which indicate when, where and how Akawaio and Arekuna were living from 1596 to the present, across an area extending from the Corentyne River (Suriname) to the Orinoco basin (Venezuela), including also, the Rio Branco savannas (Brazil) to the south. It describes and stresses the importance of the indigenous naming system for clarifying group identities and structures, linking them to particular habitats and specific landholdings across this vast area.

The second part incorporates the relevant ethnography for the twentieth century including the author's own field research data. It shows how land occupation is structured in a non- hierarchical, segmentary system with bi-lateral kinship. A study of the dual residence settlement pattern and kin nuclei of local communities in relation to land rights and resource use/ demonstrates the traditional methods of land management and their socio-political concomitants. The subsistence economy is considered in conjunction with factors of stability and sustainability affected by dispersed resources' Indigenous astronomy and ritual interpret the annual seasonal cycle within which the economy operates.

There is a summary of the salient features of Akawaio and Arekuna land occupation, management, use and its sacred nature' all of which support an urgent request for legal entitlement to their ancestral lands which is now being put to the High Court in Georgetown.

LAND

You can buy LAND by Dr A J Butt Colson direct from the author

Order securely online now and we can post the book to you world-wide

order now .:

Book reviews


  • The Geographical Journal - John Hemming

    The title 'Land' at first seems misleading for an academic anthropological study of an indigenous people of the interior of Guyana - but it is justified because a people's land is of such paramount importance to its physical and social survival. As Audrey Colson demonstrates throughout this magisterial study, land is the cement that brought the Carib-speaking Akawaio and Arekuna peoples together, that ensured their survival, and that shapes most aspects of their mythology and daily lives.

    read full review .:
  • University of Guyana - Christopher Carrico

    Land is based on ideas that Audrey Butt Colson has been developing since the 1970s. The book builds a clear and thoroughly documented argument about the historical relationship between the Akawaio and Arekuna peoples and the land that they occupy and use in the Upper Mazaruni District, The book is a significant contribution to the history and ethnography of the Akawaio and Arekuna, and Land is also a document that lends strong support to the land claims that the Akawaio and Arekuna peoples of the Upper Mazaruni put forth in their lawsuit filed against the Government of Guyana in October 1998 and still unheard by the Guyana High Court.

    read full review .:
  • Colby College - Janette Bulkan

    Land by anthropologist Audrey J. Butt Colson provides a definitive account of the Akawaio and Arekuna, two of Guyana's nine surviving indigenous peoples whose homeland lies in the north Pakaraima mountain range that straddles Venezuela and Brazil. Land is evenly divided into two sections: 'Part 1: the historical record,' and 'Part 2: the ethnography,' that together confirm the ancient presence of these peoples in this landscape, infused with their cosmology and belief system".

    read full review .: