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Getting Down in the Guyanas

We visit one of the world’s last untamed natural and musical wildernesses: The Guyanas. Riding along bumpy jungle roads and in dug-out canoes, Afropop producer Marlon Bishop travels from Suriname to French Guiana for the Transamazoniennes Festival, located in the remote border town of Saint-Laurent-Du-Maroni. We enjoy the region’s fascinating cultural stew, where French Creole, maroon, Amerindian, Hindu, Javanese, and Dutch elements all mingle together on the outer fringes of the Amazon and hear styles like kaseko, bigi pokoe, aleke, and kawina. We’ll speak with local stars Prince Koloni, Little Guerrier and Chris Combete, as well as visiting acts such as self-proclaimed “African gypsy” Wanlov the Kubolor and polyglot rap crew Nomadic Massive. (produced by Marlon Bishop. Originally aired March 2012)

 

REPORT: The Transamazoniennes festival in French Guiana

by Marlon Bishop

” The people that do live in the Guyanas are a mix from all over the world. Hindustani, Javanese, Chinese, Hmong, Creole, European ex-pat, Jews – you name it, they have it. In Paramaribo, the Surinamese capital, Dutch-style wooden houses, Hindu shrines, and bumping nightclubs stand side-by-side. In the interior, there are Amerindians, Maroons, and Brazilian migrants who come to eek gold dust out of the forest. An insane variety of languages and creoles are used, and people switch back and forth between them effortlessly. One woman I met in Saint Laurent-du-Maroni spoke seven of them. No big deal.READ MORE.

 

 

LISTEN + DOWNLOAD: Maroni River Mashup: A Guyanas Mix

Download our exclusive, web-only mix featuring artists from Suriname and French Guiana. Mixed by international producer/DJ Geko Jones.

 

 

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