Photo by Martei Korley
Photographer: Martei Korley
Location: Santa Mision, Guyana
Pic of the Week was one of the original LargeUp features: A series of dispatches from co-founder, creative director and chief photographer Martei Korley. Now, we’re bringing it back. Each Friday morning, we’ll share a different image illuminating the richness of the Caribbean experience.
This idyllic scene takes us to Santa Mission, in Guyana’s West Demerara region, looking across the black water of Kamuni Creek. A tributary of the mighty Demerara River, the creek is a lifeline for the Carib (Amerindian) people who call Santa Mission home.
Residents of Santa Mission, a reservation officially established in 1858, enjoy modern amenities like television and cell-phone service, but you won’t find cars or motorbikes here. Canoe is the primary mode of transportation, carrying residents between the mission and the more heavily-populated areas east of the Demerara, like Georgetown and Timehri. Heading through the creek to Santa Mission, you will see people of all generations steering dugout canoes, made in a traditional Carib style practically identical to boats found in Eastern Caribbean islands like Dominica — where there is also a substantial Carib population. Many of these boats are outfitted with modern outboard engines, facilitating long-distance travel and the delivery of industrial lumber to the city, though just as many are not.
Here, we see a handful of canoes, dwarfed by the vastness of a terrain resembling an African savanna, wild palms and high grass stretching out until infinity. In actuality, the vast Essequibo River, Guyana’s largest, will begin to take shape some miles in the distance.