Guyana hosts Mashramani Costume Design Competition, know historical facts 

The Guyana Tourism Authority hosted its Mashramani Costume Design Competition in observance of the upcoming Mashramani celebrations.

Guyana hosts Mashramani Costume Design Competition, know historical facts 
Guyana hosts Mashramani Costume Design Competition, know historical facts 

Guyana: The Guyana Tourism Authority hosted its Mashramani Costume Design Competition in observance of the upcoming Mashramani celebrations.

Visit Guyana took to social media and shared the update on the results of the competition. First place went to Group B, for their innovative design of an “Eco-bird” emphasizing the importance of sustainability and conservation in Guyana’s tourism product.

The teams demonstrated passion, creativity and of course fun throughout their designs as well as presentations and we couldn’t be prouder to work with such talented people!

Visit Guyana extended gratitude to the Georgetown Public Hospital for inviting me to be a judge at their Mashramani Cultural extravaganza. It was an event full of colour, music, dance, storytelling, food and fun. It also extended special thanks to Chelauna Providence and her team for putting together a wonderful staff bonding and cultural event.

Residents of the Palms Geriatric Home got into the Mashramani spirit as they held their Mash Parade in the Brickdam compound this morning.

Residents were dressed brightly in their costumes and danced their way around the facility.

Visit Guyana also dropped the images while explaining the historical aspects of Mashramani and outline its several elements. 

Mashramani was first celebrated in February, 1970 when Guyana became a Republic. Guyana’s “Mashramani”, with its name rooted in the culture of its indigenous Amerindians, means “the celebration of a job well done.”

Where did the name come from?

Recognizing that there was a need for a cultural festival steeped in local tradition, the Jaycees of Linden who had been organising Independence Carnival in Mackenzie since 1966, began searching for a name to replace Carnival. Cricketer Basil Butcher suggested an Indigenous word be used.

This was agreed to and several individuals including Allan Fiedtkou, an Amerindian, were contacted. Fiedtkou held discussions with his grandfather who explained a type of Festival that was held by Amerindians whenever they gathered to celebrate a special event. This event he said was like “Muster Many” (or Mashirimehi in Amerindian) and sounded in Arawak like Mashramani. Steps were taken to confirm this. 

Adrian Thomson concluded that since no one could have confirmed or denied that the Arawak word for Festival was Mashramani, then the Festival could be called Mashramani in Guyana. 

Elements of Mashramani

No Mashramani is complete without Masquerade. Masquerading figures such as Bam Bam Sally, Mad Cow, Flat Foot Flouncers and Tall Lady.

In addition to these street parades, leading up to mash there are many steel pan, calypso and soca contests and performances.

The Mash Day depicts a hive of activity from Vlissingen and Irving streets all the way to the National Park, with an air of expectancy. Thousands of people summon to the streets to participate in the annual Mashramani celebrations, which has been a part of Guyanese culture for over 50 years