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Culture in Guyana


Much historic architecture reflects the country's British colonial past. Many of these buildings in Georgetown and New Amsterdam were built entirely of local woods.


Africans celebrate their history of resistance and achievement through Anansi tales, proverbs, songs and stories. This tradition has shaped Guyanese literary sensibility. Popular Guyanese authors include Wilson Harris, Jan Carew, Denis Williams and E.R. Braithwaite. Braithwaite's memoir To Sir With Love details his experiences as a black high school teacher in a white London slum. Edgar Mittelholzer is well known outside of Guyana for such novels as Corentyne Thunder and a three-part novel known as the Kaywana Trilogy, the latter focusing on one family through 350 years of Guyana's history.

Visual Arts

Art takes many forms in Guyana, but its dominant themes are Amerindian, the ethnic diversity of the population and the physical beauty of Guyana. Popular artists include Stanley Greaves, Ronald Savory, Philip Moore and the late Aubrey Williams.

Performing Arts

Although the beginning of theatre in 19th century Georgetown was European, in the early 20th century a new African and Indian Guyanese middle-class theatre emerged. In the 1950s there was an explosion of an ethnically diverse and socially committed theatre. Despite an economic depression, there was a struggle to maintain theatre post-1980. Serious repertory theatre was highlighted by Carifesta and the Theatre Guild of Guyana. Wordsworth McAndrew has been prominent in Guyanese theatre since the 1960s.


Guyana's musical tradition is a mix of Indian, African, European, and native elements. Pop music includes American, Caribbean (reggae, calypso, chutney), Brazilian and other Latin musical styles. Popular Guyanese performers include Terry Gajraj, Mark Holder, Eddy Grant, Dave Martin & the Tradewinds, Aubrey Cummings and Nicky Porter. Among the most successful Guyanese record producers are Rohit Jagessar, Eddy Grant, Terry Gajraj and Dave Martin.





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