Monthly Archives: July 2013

Peter Halder’s First Book – The Cat of Muritaro

Peter Halder’s First Book – The Cat of Muritaro

Peter Halder‘s first book, The Cat of Muritaro, has just been published by Franklin and Franklin Publishers of New  York.  Please see  attachment: THE CAT OF MURITARO

The Novel   set in Guyana is a collection of eight incredible stories of the supernatural:

  • The Cat of Muritaro –  A supernatural being injects fear into  an entire settlement on the Upper Demerara River. 
  • Deadly 13 –  The tragedy of a boy whose love for playing in the Le Repentir Cemetery caused his demise. 
  • The Massacuraman –  Rekindles the lore of the infamous river creature, half man and half fish.                
  • Ol’ Higue –  A vividly portrayed tale of one that lived in Albouystown.
  • Obeah Woman –  One of the few  women that conducted Black Magic business for profit many years ago. 
  • The Dwarf of Christianburg –  Tale of a man who arranged to be transformed at death and who employed a similar ritual for his wife when she died.
  • The Flower From The Grave –  Recounts an incident at a funeral and the tragic repercussions.
  • Devlin The Devil –  Story about an evil boy who lived an evil life which the hangman’s noose ended.

Ordering Information:

The cost per copy is US$10.99, plus handling and shipping charges.

The Novel can be purchased online at Amazon website.  Access and type in the request space the name of the author Peter Halder, or the name of the book The Cat of Muritaro, or the ISBN number which is ISBN 978-0-9884987-0-9 

Peter’s full-length Novel, The Resurrection, also set in Guyana,  should be released some in November or early December 2013.




The Wai Wai Tribe in Guyana – by Peter Halder

The Wai Wai Tribe in Guyana

by   Peter Halder

The Wai Wai is now an endangered Amerindian tribe in Guyana. In 2007, according to International Cry online website, there were only 240 Wai Wai left in Guyana.

Amerindian Tribes

The Wai Wai is one of nine indigenous Amerindian tribes in Guyana. The others include the Patamona, Arecuna, Macusi, Wapisiana, Carib, Warrau, Arawak and Akawaio.


Wai Wai means “tapioca people” and they were given that name because of the enormous amount of the tapioca (cassava) they eat.   Continue reading

TADJAH IN GUYANA – By Peter Halder


 by Peter Halder

One of the impressive cultural events of long ago in Guyana was the Tadjah (or Tazia) festival. It had a Muslim origin but was eventually assumed by Hindus. This was frowned on by the Muslims. But the festival involved nearly all communities who either joined in, observed or benefited from the spectacle that Tadjah was.

The feature of the event was a towering Tadjah structure about 30 feet high representing an ornate tomb. It was a sight to behold. It’s frame was made of bamboo but it was finished in tinsel, pieces of glass, beads, little lanterns, tassels and paper in a grand variety of bright, rich colours.

During the day, the Tadjah was taken in a procession along the road as the following shouted “Hoosein! Hassan!…Hoosein! Hassan!” over and over.   Continue reading

Songs and Dances of the 40s and Early 50s

Songs and Dances of the 40s and Early 50s

by Peter Halder

     When Julius Caesar said the Ides of March are come, Artemidorus the soothsayer replied, yes Caesar but not gone. So the twenty-first century has come but my memories of songs and dances of the 40‘s and early 50’s of the twentieth century have not gone.

During the early to the mid 40’s, the only songs I was familiar with were Hymns sang in Church on Sunday nights and Good Fridays from a red cover Hymn Book. No one on Non Pareil Street, Albouystown had a radio much less, a pick-up or a radiogram. We were fortunate however because after 1945, our home had a Victrola Gramophone and three 33 size records. Two, both sides, could only be played during the Christmas Season because they were Carols : Oh Come All Ye Faithful; Silent Night Holy Night; Once In Royal David’s City and Hark The Herald Angels Sing. The other contained Indian songs on both sides. One I remember was Sohani Raat. The singer was Lata Mungeshkar I think.    Continue reading

Prince Randian of Guyana

Prince Randian of Guyana

by Peter Halder

Guyanese men and women have distinguished themselves in many fields of human endeavour, at home and overseas. The performing arts is no exception. Guyanese have been in films, on TV shows and on the stage. One has even been a feature attraction in the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the United States. And the amazing Guyanese had no arms or legs. He was known as Prince Randian.

The young man, born to Hindu parents in 1871 with neither arms nor legs, was 18 years old at the time. He was discovered by P.T. Barnum who transported him from the “Demerara district” and exhibited him as a human “oddity” or “freak” – a practice common in those days. Exactly how Barnum learned about the usual young man is unknown but he did. He arranged, in 1889 to bring the young man to New York. And hundreds of thousands of spectators paid to see him.     Continue reading

Playing Marbles – by Peter Halder

Playing Marbles

by Peter Halder

Playing marbles was a popular culture and pastime for boys growing up in British Guiana in the 1940s and 1950s. It was played in the open spaces of home yards,  school yards, playing fields and across roads. It was variously called playing marbles, pitching marbles, pitching taw (marble) or “jummin” . The two most favoured varieties were “holes” and “jummin”. The games were played for fun or for buttons.


There were 1-hole, 2-hole, 3-hole and 4-hole games. Depending on what variety was played, one, two,  three or four, round holes were dug, circumference usually about three inches and not deep. A heel and sole of a boy’s foot were used to round and smooth each hole after a calabash of water from the standpipe was poured around and into them to soften the ground.  Continue reading

Meadow Bank Many, Many Years Ago

Meadow Bank Many, Many Years Ago

by Peter Halder

Meadow Bank, East Bank Demerara, located some two miles south of Georgetown, has undergone a significant transformation from the village it was some 175 years ago. Around that time, its population was overrun with Portuguese and it became the centre of the Catholic Church in Guyana.

With the abolition of slavery in 1834, many of the African slaves who worked on sugar estates eagerly left the inhuman and barbaric conditions on the estates to seek their fortune and future elsewhere.

Portuguese from Madeira began arriving as indentured immigrants in 1835. By 1882, over 30,000 Portuguese had immigrated to then British colony.  Many settled at Meadow Bank. As a result, Meadow Bank became the centre of the Catholic Church.       Continue reading

Expectant Fathers Macusi Culture – by Peter Halder

Expectant Fathers Macusi Culture

by Peter Halder

 The Macusi is one of 9 tribes of Amerindians in Guyana. The others are Patamona, Arecuna, Wapisiana, Carib, Warrau, Arawak, Wai Wai and Akawaio.

There was a particular culture, tradition and custom in the Macusi tribe that came to light during the 1800’s. It was known as  “expectant fathers” syndrome.

It was mentioned by Sir Everard Im Thurn, explorer and botanist in his book “Among The Indians of Guiana.” Sir Everard was Curator of the British Guiana Museum (1877-1882), then a Stipendiary Magistrate in the Pomeroon District and in December 1884, along with Harry Perkins, first scaled Mount Roraima. He travelled extensively among the Amerindians.   Continue reading

Games Kids Used To Play – By Peter Halder

Games Kids Used To Play

by Peter Halder

         The pastime games for kids in Albouystown and maybe elsewhere in Guyana in the 1940s were unique and unusual. They were the legacy of custom and culture. Four such that were popular were Zootal, Mariddle, Cush and Cock-a-Delo.


Zootal was a game played with sticks. It was played with 2, 3 or 4 players. The first thing was for each kid to obtain two slender sticks about a half inch in circumference. Sapodilla, mango, genip, guava or other fruit and non-fruit tree limbs of that circumference were sought  One long limb was just what the doctor ordered. Its leaves and stems were plucked off. The limb was then broken to provide two pieces, one about five inches long and the other about two feet. Next, a round hole about five inches in diameter was dug in the open ground of a yard.           Continue reading

History of Christmas In Guyana – By Peter Halder

History of Christmas In Guyana

by Peter Halder

The observation and celebration of Christmas in Guyana dates back to the 17th century. It began, circa 1627, among the Dutch immigrants who had established permanent settlements in Essequibo. The celebration later spread to Berbice in 1627 and then Demerara in 1746.

The counties of Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice, which subsequently became British as a result of European wars, were merged in 1831 and became British Guiana.

In the new British colony, the largest ethnic population were African slaves captured by British and Dutch slave ships and brought to Guyana to work on colonial sugar plantations.   Continue reading