Surface area : 91000.0 km2
Population : 209000 inhabitants
The Maroons sculpt many objects out of wood: you will find benches, trays, paddles and drums made of red mahogany. As for the American Indians, they make more 'useful' objects such as bows and arrows, basketry and, some of their more recent creations include red pottery bowls and pearl necklaces. The Hmongs people embroider; you will find artwork in the local markets, in the shops and in the villages in the forest. 18-carat gold is also sold in traditional jewellery shops! Shops are open from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 15:00 pm to 18:00 pm.
The 'savannah palm fruit pulp' stews for several hours with vegetables, smoked fish, crabs, shrimps, chicken or smoked bacon and cucumbers. This is the Awara stew, a symbol of the Guianese gastronomy and a dish of African origin which is made at Easter and Whitsun and which is usually served for a newcomer. Less spectacular, the specialty of meat fricassees is cooked all year long, as are the famous 'blaff' shrimps (shrimps cooked in a spicy and flavoured stew). Cod fish marinades, chicken or smoked fish, sausage and acras are often served as first courses, with the famous ti-punch as a cocktail.
From the first Sunday following Epiphany to Ash Wednesday, Guiana celebrates its carnival. Vaval, the king of the festivities, celebrates its opening, then come the queens: the touloulous, women in disguise and the jé farin, symbols of life, joy and gaiety. Everyone is ready for the dances and parades on Saturdays and Sundays, in Cayenne and in the entire region. Other traditions are the local festivities which represent real cultural events; the characteristics of each of them depends on the communities.
Make sure that you take cotton clothing, a bathing suit, ankle boots, a sweatshirt and a windbreaker coat (for the country's inlands) with you.
If you are going on an excursion in the jungle, it is obviously necessary to prepare yourself physically, but also psychologically; a stay in the forest is a total break from any form of civilisation. Note: you must be humble when you meet the local ethnic groups in the forest.