Castellani House: the home of the National Gallery of Art, Guyana Heritage Museum, Guyana National Museum, John Campbell Police Museum, Museum of African Heritage / Georgetown, National Military Museum / Georgetown, Rupununi Weavers Society Museum / Lethem, The Philatelic Museum / Cummingsburg, Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology
Guiana (also spelled Guyana) was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, since 1966 known as the independent nation of Guyana. Its indigenous people are the Arawak-speaking Lucayan, part of the Taino people.
The first European to discover Guiana was Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle there, starting in the early 17th century, when they founded the colonies of Essequibo and Berbice, adding Demerara in the mid-18th century. In 1796, Great Britain took over these three colonies during hostilities with the French, who had occupied the Netherlands. Britain returned control to the Batavian Republic in 1802, but captured the colonies a year later during the Napoleonic Wars. The colonies were officially ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814, and consolidated into a single colony in 1831. The colony’s capital was at Georgetown (known as Stabroek prior to 1812).
As the British developed the colony for sugar cane plantations, they imported many Africans as slave labour. The economy became more diversified since the late 19th century, but has relied on resource exploitation. Guyana became independent of the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966.
Georgetown hosts the majority of museums in Guyana. Each of which showcases a different aspect of Guyana’s historical remnants. We want to thank Guyana Tourism Authority for the help to write this article.
1. The Guyana National Museum / Georgetown
The Guyana National Museum is located on North Road in a building complex which opened in 1951. The Museum’s collections were housed previously in the Carneige Building. The Guyana National Museum in Georgetown has a collection of flora and fauna, precious stones found in our land formation, archaeological findings, and examples of Amerindian arts and crafts. This museum is the largest and house most of our general artifacts.
2. Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology / Georgetown
The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, the first museum of anthropology in the English-speaking Caribbean was founded in the year 1974 with the collections of Guyanese Archaeologist, Dr. Denis Williams. An ethnographic collection of the Wai Wai, one of the nine indigenous tribes found in Guyana, was presented to this Museum in 1991 by Guyanese Cultural Anthropologist, Dr. George P. Mentore. The Museum’s collections also include excavated artifacts from all of the ten Administrative Regions of Guyana.
3. Castellani House: the home of the National Gallery of Art / Georgetown
This large wooden building was designed by Cesar Castellani. It was once the residence of the Director of Agriculture in 1888. In 1965 the building was converted as the official residence by Mr. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, then Prime Minister of British Guiana. In 1993 the inaugural collection of the Art Gallery was held.
4. The Museum of African Heritage / Georgetown
The museum was initially called The Museum of African Art and Ethnology and was founded in 1985. In 2001, the museum was renamed the Museum of African Heritage, in order to open their doors to a wider audience and begin to fully address the African experience in Guyana. The existing collection includes items on African Art, mostly West African, from the wooden mask to the carved door of secret societies, helping to educate people about the meaning and reasons behind African art traditions. Also in the collection are more practical pieces like the brass weights used for measuring gold dust, drums, musical instruments, games and clothing. More recent donations include a wooden replica of the 1763 Monument.
5. John Campbell Police Museum / Georgetown
6. National Military Museum / Georgetown
7. The Rupununi Weavers Society Museum / Lethem
The Rupununi Weavers Society is also associated with the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology in Georgetown. This association is designed to promote and enhance awareness of Guyanese indigenous cultures. To this end the society maintains a museum within its compound on the outskirts of Lethem. The museum houses Amerindian artifacts and antiquities, as well as archival materials and other intellectual resources.
8. The Guyana Heritage Museum / Kastev
Irons, enamel lunch carriers, ice-shavers, three-legged iron pots, 18th and 19th century maps, coins and stamps, other artifacts and an impressive collection of books by Guyanese authors awaken a sense of nostalgia. It was obvious that the collection of these artifacts at the Guyana Heritage Museum, situated at Kastev, West Coast Demerara was as a result of love for one’s country, dedication and hard work over a number of years.
9. The Philatelic Museum / Cummingsburg
A branch of the Guyana Post Office was established in 1860 and was closed in 1962 when the Post Office Training School was opened. The building is located on Lamaha and Carmicheal Street, Cummingsburg, currently houses an Internet Cafe and Post Office operated by the Guyana Post Office Corporation.
This is going to be all by now. We want give our best regards to the Guyana Tourism Authority to help us so much on the writing of this post. Thank you!