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Location in Guyana
Coordinates: 07°31′N58°48′W / 7.517°N 58.800°W / 7.517; -58.800
Country Flag of Guyana.svg Guyana
Region Pomeroon-Supenaam
 (2012) [1]

The Arawak village of Wakapau (or Wakapoa) is located in the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region of Guyana, on the Wakapau River, a tributary on the west bank of the Pomeroon River, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from its mouth. The name originates from the Lokono word ‘Wakokwãn’, which means pigeon. [2] The village is composed of twenty inhabited islands. Some of the islands only contain a single family. [3]

Wakapau was one of the ten original "Indian reservations" of British Guiana. [4] The village is an example of an Amerindian community that has not only preserved the traditional Arawak culture, but also retained its tribal language. [5] The community consists of island settlements in the swamps surrounded by forests. The economy is based on logging, subsistence farming and boat services. [6]

It has three primary and one secondary school. [7]

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  1. "2012 Population by Village". Statistics Guyana. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. GTIMES (2020-09-27). ""We are losing ourselves" in process of trying to fit in modern world". Guyana Times. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  3. "Wakapoa revisited – Part 1". Stabroek News. 2020-10-11. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  4. British Empire Exhibition (1924-1925) (1924). British Guiana British Empire exhibition. Wembley: Sanders Phillips & Co. p. 19. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. "Protecting, Propagating and Reviving Caribbean Indigenous Languages". Unesco via University of the West Indies. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  6. Atkinson, Sharon (2016). "OUR LAND, OUR LIFE" (PDF). Forest Peoples. Amerindian Peoples Association and Forest Peoples Programme. p. 195. ISBN   978-0-9935190-7-9.
  7. "Wakapoa revisited – Part 2". Stabroek News. 2020-10-18. Retrieved 2020-12-01.