In an effort to promote the restoration and preservation of the Amerindian language and cultural heritage, Conservation International and Iwokrama partnered with the ‘Maira & the Jaguar people’ film project to make this a reality.
The film script written by Dr. Michael Gilkes, Guyana’s leading film maker, writer, playwright, Director, Actor and Professor, will be filmed on location close to and involving the Surama community and other virgin forested locations within that region.
It is based on a young girl, Maira and her brother Mairun . Maira loves birdsong and Mairun dreams of being a hunter. As a result of a terrifying encounter with a jaguar, they discover for themselves the practical wisdom behind the traditions and beliefs of their community and way of life. They learn to listen to what the Shaman calls ‘the advice of the birds’ and that the jaguar holds a special place in the interconnected web of life and death in the rainforest; that there is a kind of mutual respect between humans and jaguars, now a protected species in South America.
In this film the rainforest will be more than just a beautiful backdrop. The music of its trees, waterfalls, rivers and birdsong will play a very important part in the story. So will the musical language of the Makushi (with subtitles) which will also be featured. The project will therefore also help promote the restoration and preservation of their language and cultural heritage, already in grave danger of being lost through the pull of the cities on their young people. Landscape is more than land. It is our most valuable resource for living. The rainforests are the lungs of the globe
The Makushi people of Surama will benefit directly from the making of this film, both in terms of their close involvement in the technical and casting areas of the production, but also because they will be building a replica of a Makushi village from the 1950’s as part of the set for the film, and the structures built will not be torn down after filming, but will remain in the care of the Makushi community. A trail and bivouac for overnighting will be built at Kayanperu, to be developed as a Heritage Site. These structures could then be used as living or guest spaces for the community and their visitors, or serve as a museum site, for example. All these facilities will remain after the filming crew leaves, for the use of the Makushi community.
The film project ‘MAIRA & THE JAGUAR PEOPLE’ has a fund raising campaign on the internet in an effort to seek funding for its realization.
Persons interested in helping this project can log onto ‘http://igg.me/at/maira’ or go to the film page at IndieGoGo.
While making the donations, persons would qualify for gifts from the projects , according to their level of donation. These gifts will range from – a picture of the tallest wooden building of the world, St Georges cathedral along with a poem on the cathedral by Dr. Michaels Gilkes; book by Graham Watkins on Rupununi- re-discovering a lost world; embossed mug from Surama , Keithe Waite’s CD’s/collecters items of videos of Caribbean eye, music of the rainforest, wide Sargasso sea, carifesta in Barbados & Cuba, Carnival Mas, music score and script of Maira and the Jaguar people, genuine wapisiana hammock, tours to the Essequibo River and Hurakabra River Resort, 2 nights stay at Cara Lodge and trips to Surama Eco Lodge and Iwokrama .
Persons who would like to make a contribution and do not have a credit card can contact the Project Manager, Gem Madhoo, and make their donations directly by calling 225-3557 OR 226-0240.
Originally published in CARIBBEAN TRAKKER (read more >>>)