Yupukari and the surrounding communities of Quatata, Fly Hill, Kaicumbay and Katoka, from which our first group of artisans are drawn, are Macushi (indigenous) villages in the Rupununi region of Guyana, South America. People generally live in houses like the one above, and subsist as fishers, farmers and hunters.
Many families have members working outside the community, whether over the border in Brazil, in mining camps and logging camps, or in Lethem, the largest town in the area. There are not enough opportunities to earn cash locally to improve homes and farms, and the impact of missing members, as well as numbers of unemployed youth, is deeply felt.
One of the dreams that drives WABBANI forward is that we can create lots of local jobs tailored to the lives of farmers and preserve traditional skills at the same time.
The middle photo is my neighbor Junita Samuel in 2006, working at her hammock frame. This is what I glimpsed through her front door when I went over to her house for a visit. To my Northern eyes, the frame looked like a headboard, and this impression led directly to the woven headboards at Caiman House like the one shown here, built by local carpenters and furnished by weaving ladies from several villages.