The Guyana Story by Odeen Ishmael

Usually only by low class coolies so I've always taken that with a grain of dholl.

I consider myself privileged for the mere fact that I do not come from a Jagan worshipping coolie family.  I leave that to abbe mentally stunted Hindus. A truly worthless race if ever there was one.
Originally Posted by Shaitaan:
Usually only by low class coolies so I've always taken that with a grain of dholl.

I consider myself privileged for the mere fact that I do not come from a Jagan worshipping coolie family.  I leave that to abbe mentally stunted Hindus. A truly worthless race if ever there was one.

Originally Posted by VVP:

Why most people settled in Demerara and Berbice and not Essequibo?

During slavery there were lots of sugar and coffee estates on the Essequibo Coast but after Emancipation in 1834 the estates were closed down one by one.

In his book "The Negro Family in British Guiana", Raymond Smith writes: "... there have been no sugar estates on the Essequibo Coast since 1925 and therefore men have to travel to Demerara to find work. The whole of the Essequibo Coast is regarded as a depressed area, and there is certainly very little scope for finding employment there, with the result that there is both a marked seasonal migration and a certain amount of permanent migration to other parts of the colony, and particularly to Georgetown."

That was the situation in 1956 when Raymond Smith's book was published.

Here is an 1880 map showing estates on the Essequibo Coast:

Originally Posted by VVP:

Ameriandians played a large part in our early history.  Why are they confined mainly to the interiors in present day?  Stormborn, do you know anything about this? 

1.  Those on the coast died from European diseases.

 

2.  Those in he interior didn't want to be enslaved.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:

Ameriandians played a large part in our early history.  Why are they confined mainly to the interiors in present day?  Stormborn, do you know anything about this? 

1.  Those on the coast died from European diseases.

 

2.  Those in he interior didn't want to be enslaved.

They worked with the Europeans for a very long time so they should have been immune after a while.  I was surprised to learn that even the Caribs (any relationship to you?) were used to  fight other invaders.

Originally Posted by VVP:
Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:

Ameriandians played a large part in our early history.  Why are they confined mainly to the interiors in present day?  Stormborn, do you know anything about this? 

1.  Those on the coast died from European diseases.

 

2.  Those in he interior didn't want to be enslaved.

They worked with the Europeans for a very long time so they should have been immune after a while.  I was surprised to learn that even the Caribs (any relationship to you?) were used to  fight other invaders.

I don't know if you know this, but by the early 19th century there was a belief that the Amerindian population would be extinct.  As more coastal people moved into the interior they brought their diseases with them.

 

This is why the coastal Amerindian population doesn't exist.  They either died, or they fled.  Some Amerindian had trading ties with the Europeans, and a few might have even worked with them.  But just as how the Native Americans were driven out of the East Coast in the USA, so were Amerindians driven out of the coastal areas.

 

Check it out for yourself.  Where ever there was sugar there were no Amerindians.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:

Ameriandians played a large part in our early history.  Why are they confined mainly to the interiors in present day?  Stormborn, do you know anything about this? 

1.  Those on the coast died from European diseases.

 

2.  Those in he interior didn't want to be enslaved.

They worked with the Europeans for a very long time so they should have been immune after a while.  I was surprised to learn that even the Caribs (any relationship to you?) were used to  fight other invaders.

I don't know if you know this, but by the early 19th century there was a belief that the Amerindian population would be extinct.  As more coastal people moved into the interior they brought their diseases with them.

 

This is why the coastal Amerindian population doesn't exist.  They either died, or they fled.  Some Amerindian had trading ties with the Europeans, and a few might have even worked with them.  But just as how the Native Americans were driven out of the East Coast in the USA, so were Amerindians driven out of the coastal areas.

 

Check it out for yourself.  Where ever there was sugar there were no Amerindians.

Did you see the link in my first post?  I think some Amerindians worked on plantations.  See the section on "Invasions of Guyana" 

Originally Posted by VVP:

This book (460 pages) is really interesting read if you interested in the history of Guyana.  Guyana was like the wild wild west in the 1700s and early 1800s.

 

So any body lives currently in the New River Triangle?

Before Europeans contact with the natives, they called the Guianas coastline, "The Wild Coast." It must have been a scary place. As for British Guiana, had it not been for the Dutch, the land would not have been colonized. For the longest while, the Dutch battled the Portuguese for a Dutch colony. The Portuguese wanted no part of that arrangement. The Dutch were ousted from Brazil.

 

Then they organised themselves and invested in the colonizing of some regions on the Essequibo. They brought their knowledge of sugar cultivation from Brazil-they were successful at it. 

Originally Posted by VVP:
 

Did you see the link in my first post?  I think some Amerindians worked on plantations.  See the section on "Invasions of Guyana" 

Very few worked on the plantations.  The vast majority fled the plantation regions to avoid slavery or is counterpart, and many also died of European diseases. 

 

Why do you think that the planters went to the expense of buying enslaved people from Africa, in Guyana's case, even more expensive as they had to be bought via Suriname or Curacao, with the additional mark up.

 

A question was asked about why Amerindians don't live in the settled parts of the coast.  I gave an answer.  Amerindians live in the Pomeroon region and not on the Essequibo Coast itself.  Where ever plantations existed Amerindians had no interest of being.

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
 

Did you see the link in my first post?  I think some Amerindians worked on plantations.  See the section on "Invasions of Guyana" 

Very few worked on the plantations.  The vast majority fled the plantation regions to avoid slavery or is counterpart, and many also died of European diseases. 

 

Why do you think that the planters went to the expense of buying enslaved people from Africa, in Guyana's case, even more expensive as they had to be bought via Suriname or Curacao, with the additional mark up.

 

A question was asked about why Amerindians don't live in the settled parts of the coast.  I gave an answer.  Amerindians live in the Pomeroon region and not on the Essequibo Coast itself.  Where ever plantations existed Amerindians had no interest of being.

Okay, thanks.

Interesting excerpt from Odeen's article:

 

But if the Islam that came with African slaves did not survive the conditions of slavery, the name “Fulah” came to be used as a descriptive of indentured Indian Muslims and their descendants. The Blacks who labelled them Fulahs clearly knew Fula-speaking Africans who were Muslims.

Originally Posted by VVP:

Interesting excerpt from Odeen's article:

 

But if the Islam that came with African slaves did not survive the conditions of slavery, the name “Fulah” came to be used as a descriptive of indentured Indian Muslims and their descendants. The Blacks who labelled them Fulahs clearly knew Fula-speaking Africans who were Muslims.

The enslaved African Muslims arriving in Guyana were Fulani peoples. probably brought in from/through regions approximating today's Guinea/Liberia/Sierra Leone.  These were obviously the first Muslims into Guyana.

 

So when larger numbers arrived with the Indian indentures, the term "fullah man" had already been established in the creolese lexicon to describe a Muslim.  These Fulani people had to be around in the late 18th/early 19th century because that is when Guyanese creolese began to develop.  Prior to that the slaves spoke Dutch Creole, now an extinct language.

 

What i not known is that subtantial numbers of Africans arrived in Guyana after 1838, coming in either as indentures (mainly from Sierra Leone), or as people who were being illegally transported to Cuba or Brazil, intercepted by British ships, and then transferred to Guyana.  It is believed that Agricola and Ithaca owe their origins to these people.

 

We do not remember that not every Afro Guyanese lineage comes from slavery, just as we do not know that the first Muslims in Guyana were West Africans.  That is because these African populations were absorbed into the larger creole (Guyanese, Bajan and other West Indians) and their identities subsumed into the dominant narrative of the Christianized descendant of slavery.

 

So when people celebrate Arrival Day, please note that it is nit just Indians (or sometimes we also remember Chinese and Portuguese) who arrived as freed men to work on the estates.  It is also post slavery Africans.

From the article:

The second half of the seventeenth century saw the establishment of a plantation economy in Guyana based on African slave labour. The bulk of the African slaves were brought from Senegambia, Sierra Leone, the Windward Coast, Gold Coast and the Bight of Benin. They belonged to several tribes and several language groups.

The general view held by the Dutch planters, and the English planters after them, was that the African slaves did not hold to a system of beliefs that could be described as a religion. At best – so the members of the plantocracy and the church that served them felt – their beliefs amounted to nothing more than heathenish superstition.

 

Not a few of them, perhaps, felt that the Africans were incapable of religious sentiment. But the Africans held religious beliefs derived from their homeland. It may be useful to note that some of the slaves, particularly these who came from the Fula-speaking area of Senegambia, were Muslims.

BTW all praises to Odeen for investing lots of time to develop snippets of Guyanese history.  Not only is it easily digested (you do not have to read an enitire history book to get specific pieces of info) but Guyanese history is poorly reported. 

 

I am sure that most Guyanese kids taking CXC History know more Jamaican or Bajan history than they do Guyanese.  This is why there is so much ignorance about Guyanese heritage and we have been led to believe that Guyanese weere a docile people prior to the "GODS" of Cheddi and Burnham. 

 

How many know anything about Nathaniel Critchlow and others?

 

How many know the real reason why indentures were brought in?  No it was NOT because the freed slaves abandoned the estates as indentures weree even taken to labor surplus islands like Jamaica and St Kitts.

 

How many knew that the estates used a reserve of creole and Bajan blacks to ensure that Indian indentures didnt get out of hand? Just as the indentures were used to undermine the efforts of the Guyanese creole blacks.  This being why the plantation system worked hard to under mine the black free villages and their attempts at peasant farming and petty trading and as independent tradesmen.

 

How many know the origins of the African middle class in Guyana, and that Guyana was one of the FIRST countries in the Caribbean or Latin America to develop an African property owning middle class?

 

How many know that the first occupational choice of freed slaves was NOT to work in the civil service, but to engage as peasant farmers and small traders, the very occupations which blacks are now accuse dof shunning?  How many know why Afro Guyanese (and their counterparts in Trinidad, and maybe Suriname) abandoned those occupations seeking employment heavily in the civil service or as teachers, nurses or police men.

 

Lots of that is relevant to today's Guyana, but we do not know our history, so fall prey to lies, and stereotypes.

Originally Posted by caribny:

BTW all praises to Odeen for investing lots of time to develop snippets of Guyanese history.  Not only is it easily digested (you do not have to read an enitire history book to get specific pieces of info) but Guyanese history is poorly reported. 

 

I am sure that most Guyanese kids taking CXC History know more Jamaican or Bajan history than they do Guyanese.  This is why there is so much ignorance about Guyanese heritage and we have been led to believe that Guyanese weere a docile people prior to the "GODS" of Cheddi and Burnham. 

 

How many know anything about Nathaniel Critchlow and others?

 

How many know the real reason why indentures were brought in?  No it was NOT because the freed slaves abandoned the estates as indentures weree even taken to labor surplus islands like Jamaica and St Kitts.

 

How many knew that the estates used a reserve of creole and Bajan blacks to ensure that Indian indentures didnt get out of hand? Just as the indentures were used to undermine the efforts of the Guyanese creole blacks.  This being why the plantation system worked hard to under mine the black free villages and their attempts at peasant farming and petty trading and as independent tradesmen.

 

How many know the origins of the African middle class in Guyana, and that Guyana was one of the FIRST countries in the Caribbean or Latin America to develop an African property owning middle class?

 

How many know that the first occupational choice of freed slaves was NOT to work in the civil service, but to engage as peasant farmers and small traders, the very occupations which blacks are now accuse dof shunning?  How many know why Afro Guyanese (and their counterparts in Trinidad, and maybe Suriname) abandoned those occupations seeking employment heavily in the civil service or as teachers, nurses or police men.

 

Lots of that is relevant to today's Guyana, but we do not know our history, so fall prey to lies, and stereotypes.

So Caribny with all of this how come the Indians became wealthier?  What stopped the African progress? 

Originally Posted by Shaitaan:
Usually only by low class coolies so I've always taken that with a grain of dholl.

I consider myself privileged for the mere fact that I do not come from a Jagan worshipping coolie family.  I leave that to abbe mentally stunted Hindus. A truly worthless race if ever there was one.

Dhall (dholl does not match the hindi phonetics) is the result of peas being cooked in a certain way. Peas are the grains....not getting too granular for you I hope.

Originally Posted by VVP:

Did you read the article/book?  It is hundreds of pages long.  I just learnt that Coffy took a white wife.  I have never seen so much history of Guyana in one place as in this article/book.


I use Odeen's materials as a basic source for Guyanese history.  Yes he is obviously a PPP man, but he does try to reduce this bias.  Unlike most in the PPP, he admits that violence in the 60s was perpetrated by BOTH sides, with BOTH sides being victimized.

Originally Posted by caribny:

I use Odeen's materials as a basic source for Guyanese history.  Yes he is obviously a PPP man, but he does try to reduce this bias.  Unlike most in the PPP, he admits that violence in the 60s was perpetrated by BOTH sides, with BOTH sides being victimized.

The true diplomat. When my grandparents used to intervene and stop village fights, they said both sides were wrong.

Originally Posted by VVP:
Originally Posted by caribny:

BTW all praises to Odeen for investing lots of time to develop snippets of Guyanese history.  Not only is it easily digested (you do not have to read an enitire history book to get specific pieces of info) but Guyanese history is poorly reported. 

 

I am sure that most Guyanese kids taking CXC History know more Jamaican or Bajan history than they do Guyanese.  This is why there is so much ignorance about Guyanese heritage and we have been led to believe that Guyanese weere a docile people prior to the "GODS" of Cheddi and Burnham. 

 

How many know anything about Nathaniel Critchlow and others?

 

How many know the real reason why indentures were brought in?  No it was NOT because the freed slaves abandoned the estates as indentures weree even taken to labor surplus islands like Jamaica and St Kitts.

 

How many knew that the estates used a reserve of creole and Bajan blacks to ensure that Indian indentures didnt get out of hand? Just as the indentures were used to undermine the efforts of the Guyanese creole blacks.  This being why the plantation system worked hard to under mine the black free villages and their attempts at peasant farming and petty trading and as independent tradesmen.

 

How many know the origins of the African middle class in Guyana, and that Guyana was one of the FIRST countries in the Caribbean or Latin America to develop an African property owning middle class?

 

How many know that the first occupational choice of freed slaves was NOT to work in the civil service, but to engage as peasant farmers and small traders, the very occupations which blacks are now accuse dof shunning?  How many know why Afro Guyanese (and their counterparts in Trinidad, and maybe Suriname) abandoned those occupations seeking employment heavily in the civil service or as teachers, nurses or police men.

 

Lots of that is relevant to today's Guyana, but we do not know our history, so fall prey to lies, and stereotypes.

So Caribny with all of this how come the Indians became wealthier?  What stopped the African progress? 


1.  Are Indians as a group wealthier?  Ravi Dev and others will seriously disagree with you in this.   Or at least did up to 2000. 

 

Maybe the blatant Jagdeo era racism might have increased African and reduced Indian poverty rates, but in 2000 the two groups were not that different. 

 

In fact the household survey of around 2005 indicated that Africans (disproportionately urban dwellers) had more access to amenities which civilized people take for granted (indoor plumbing) than Indians.  And remain more educated as a whole.  African women had much higher levels of ;abor force participation than do Indian females, this having repercussions on house hold income.

 

One can easily compare educational levels attained in Regions 10 compared to Region 6, as an example.  Outside of Region 4 in 2002 the highest concentration of people with post secondary education were in region 10, with region 6 having large numbers of people who hadnt even finished primary school.

 

  Do not be fooled by the fact that the majority of the tycoons are Indians.  During the election cycle there was much evidence of Indo poverty shown on GNI.

 

It might indeed be the fact that while the bulk of the wealth in Guyana is in the hands of Indians, income and wealth disparities might also be greater WITHIN the Indian population, when  compared to the African population.  The result being that poverty levels, and median household incomes miht still be similar.

 

2. I mentioned to you the successful attempt that the colonial regime engaged in to destroy black enterprise.  The result is that blacks saw involvement in farming and small business as a fast route to poverty, and saw upward mobility through obtaining an education, and in entering white collar professions.  Look at the origins  of most upper middle class Afro Guyanese and you will see this, and not farming or small business as the route which their ancestors used to achieve upward mobility.

 

Your dumb reaction is exactly why Guyanese need to learn more of our history.  You want to engage in dangerous stereotypes.  No Africans DO NOT have an aversion to farming or business ownerhsip.  Its that their lived experience in Guyana convinced them that these avenues didnt offer much to them, so they shifted to other occupations.

Originally Posted by Observer:
Originally Posted by caribny:

I use Odeen's materials as a basic source for Guyanese history.  Yes he is obviously a PPP man, but he does try to reduce this bias.  Unlike most in the PPP, he admits that violence in the 60s was perpetrated by BOTH sides, with BOTH sides being victimized.

The true diplomat. When my grandparents used to intervene and stop village fights, they said both sides were wrong.


Of course you prefer the usual "bad black man assaulting the poor innocent and weak/emasculated Indian".  That is the PPP narrative.

 

You do know that this was peddled to undermine the confidence of the Indian male, rendering them with a feeling of weakness, hence a need to remain dependent on the PPP, no matter how badly the PPP treated them.

 

This is why "men" like cobra remain intimidated by African WOMEN!

Originally Posted by caribny:
 

 

Your dumb reaction is exactly why Guyanese need to learn more of our history.  You want to engage in dangerous stereotypes.  No Africans DO NOT have an aversion to farming or business ownerhsip.  Its that their lived experience in Guyana convinced them that these avenues didnt offer much to them, so they shifted to other occupations.

So Africans made the choice so why do they complain that Indians control the wealth and businesses?  BTW which race would you think have more qualified people on head to head basis...lets say University education and above?

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by Observer:
Originally Posted by caribny:

I use Odeen's materials as a basic source for Guyanese history.  Yes he is obviously a PPP man, but he does try to reduce this bias.  Unlike most in the PPP, he admits that violence in the 60s was perpetrated by BOTH sides, with BOTH sides being victimized.

The true diplomat. When my grandparents used to intervene and stop village fights, they said both sides were wrong.


Of course you prefer the usual "bad black man assaulting the poor innocent and weak/emasculated Indian".  That is the PPP narrative.

 

You do know that this was peddled to undermine the confidence of the Indian male, rendering them with a feeling of weakness, hence a need to remain dependent on the PPP, no matter how badly the PPP treated them.

 

This is why "men" like cobra remain intimidated by African WOMEN!

All this confusing brainwashing was too much for my villagers to bear. They loved Jagan and his wife who made many campaign trips there which were broadcasted from the public road. I was a little tot and had to mala (garland) them. Then in June 1970 after my Mom had seen enough eye-pass, she sent away my eldest sis to NYC who then sponsored the rest of us.

Originally Posted by VVP:
 
.

So Africans made the choice so why do they complain that Indians control the wealth and businesses?  BTW which race would you think have more qualified people on head to head basis...lets say University education and above?


OK I will leave you to engage in your Indo KKK demonization of Africans, as it is clear that you have no interest in a rational discussion of the issues. Including the fact that, if Indians, the largest ethnic group were rich, then Guyana would be the RICHEST CARICOM nation, which clearly it isnt.

 

Understand this though.  "Ayo not pan tap any more".

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by VVP:
 
.

So Africans made the choice so why do they complain that Indians control the wealth and businesses?  BTW which race would you think have more qualified people on head to head basis...lets say University education and above?


OK I will leave you to engage in your Indo KKK demonization of Africans, as it is clear that you have no interest in a rational discussion of the issues, including the fact that, if Indians, the largest ethnic group were rich, than Guyana would be the RICHEST CARICOM nation, which clearly it isnt.

 

Understand this though.  "Ayo not pan tap any more".

  Who deh pun tap bai?

Banna ah just asking questions.  That's how I learn?  Who has higher graduation rates from UG, African or Indians?  That number is easily available.

Originally Posted by TK:

It is a serious book. I bought a copy and cited it in a working paper I have on colonial origins of Guyana's dankey cart economy.

I am amazed how active role the Amerindians played in the early history compared to now.

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