By: Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq.
Flooding in Mahaicony
The Mahaicony Railway Bridge was shifted from its original location for preservation.
Mahaicony is a community in east Guyana. It can be known for its rice production and also the common flooding during the rainy season.
In 1598, the first recorded expedition to Guyana was led by the Dutch, Abraham Cabeliau. He recounted several rivers between the Corentyne and Orinoco rivers. One of those rivers was (as it is now known) the Mahaicony river.
It is believed that the Arawaks were the primary Amerindians living near the Mahaicony river prior to European exploration.
In the early 1800s, there were many large cotton plantations in the Mahaicony region. However, the plantations were abandoned and the cotton industry declined due to the competition from the United States’ cotton industry fueled by enslaved Africans.
Moreover, the Mahaicony area was allegedly the home of freed or runaway enslaved Africans. They cultivated and subsided partly on the rice they grew. There is one report that owners destroyed a large rice field in the backlands of Mahaicony in 1810 to discourage enslaved Africans from running away.
The community has always emphasized farming, and as a result, many teens were/are unable to finish their education so that they can assist on the farms.
In the 1900s, construction of a ferry and railway bridges allowed for easier travel to and from Mahaicony. After World War II, and likely in conjunction with the transportation improvement, large-scale rice production by the government began in the Mahaicony-Abary area.
Former president Dr. Cheddi Jagan also had a dental surgery branch in Mahaicony. He was actually traveling there when he was arrested in 1954. A decade later, Mahaicony village was the site of violent political unrest.
There seems to have been little recorded upheavals since.
There also seems to have been little or easily inaccessible information on the history of the region. If you have any information on the history, or fun facts, about Mahaicony, feel free to share with us. We’d love to learn more and help preserve Mahaicony’s history.
Images from Guyana Times
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. is a trademark and business attorney. She writes weekly articles on West Indian history and politics to raise awareness of the past, and educate the Caribbean diaspora on the need for legal contracts and trademarks.
She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, a minor degree in History that focused on the slavery and indentured servitude eras, a minor degree in Criminology, and a Juris Doctor degree.
MDGR Law, P.A.