Myths, Legends, Folktales and Fables of Guyana
By Dmitri Allicock for the Guyaneseonline blog
The practices of Myths, legends, folktales and fables is said to provide continuity and stability to a culture. They foster a shared set of perspectives, values, history and literature, in the stories themselves. Through these communal tales, we are connected to one another, to our ancestors, to the natural world surrounding us, and to society; and, in the myths which have universal themes; we are connected to other cultures. Through their authoritativeness and the respected characters within them, myths establish a culture’s customs, rituals, religious tenets, laws, social structures, power hierarchies, territorial claims, arts and crafts, holidays and other recurring events, and technical tips for hunting, warfare, and other endeavors.
We transcend our common life into a world in which deities interact with humans, and we can believe that our daily actions are part of the deities’ grand schemes. In our difficulties, the pain is more bearable because we believe that the trials have meaning; we are suffering for a bigger cause rather than being battered randomly. And when we read that a particular deity experienced something which we are now enduring — perhaps a struggle against “evil forces” — we can feel that our own struggle might have a similar cosmic or archetypal significance, though on a smaller scale. Some of Guyana’s myths and legends are unique to her and not found elsewhere while some practices have similar characteristics to other cultures of the Caribbean and around the world. [more Myths, legends, folktales and fables of Guyana]