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Umana Yana, Georgetown, Guyana (1972)

Artist/Designer: George Henry

Project Location: Georgetown, Guyana

Figure 1: Inside ( Source | Accessed : March 15, 2023 )
Figure 2: Inside of hall ( Source | Accessed : March 15, 2023 )
Figure 3: Inside of roof ( Source | Accessed : March 15, 2023 )
Figure 4: The rebuilding process ( Source | Accessed : March 15, 2023 | Photographer: Nikhil Ramkarran )
Figure 5: Exterior view ( Source | Accessed : March 15, 2023 | Photographer: David Stanley )


Primary Material(s):
Plants, Wood

Conference Hall, Concert Hall, Cultural Center, Entertainment

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
1970-1979, 1972, 1990-1999, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2000-2009, 2003, 2010-2019, 2014, 2015, 2016

Additional Information:
Publications/Texts in Print:

Additional Information:
Umana Yana is an Amerindian expression for “meeting place of the people” coming from the Wai Wai Amerindian peoples that are from Guyana.
The plants that make up the building are: thatched allibanna, manicole palm leaves, and wallaba posts lashed together with mukru, turu and nibbi vines.
Umana Yama has been rebuilt twice. Once was because the building collapsed in 1993 and the other was because of a fire in 2014.

Project Description:
The Umana Yana was built for the first conference of Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement of Third World Nations in August 1972. Georgetown did not have an adequate space for the meetings and the construction of the Umana Yana was not only fast and cheap to build (it only took 80 days), but it also showed native Guyanese people's buildings. It became a national monument in 2001. The original architect,
Building Address:
Georgetown, Guyana

Supporting Designers/Staff:
Wai Wai Indigenous people under Chief Elka - built original structure
Paul Chekema and his team - rehabilitated the building in 2010.

Significant Dates:
1972 - Erected (80 days to build)
1993 - Collapsed
1995 - Rebuilt
2001 - Became a National Monument
2003 - Refurbished
September 09, 2014 - Destroyed by fire
2015-2016 - Rebuilt

Associated Projects:
-Mausoleum for President Forbes Burnham
-President’s College
-New Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)
-Guyana Printers Limited
-Demerara Distillers Limited’s

Conference Center, Amerindian, Cultural Center, Event Center, Natural Materials, Georgetown, Guyana

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