Umana Yana is located on High Street, Kingston, Georgetown. The word Umana Yana is an indigenous term used by the Wai Wai Amerindians to describe the huge benabs they usually congregate in as a meeting place. The first Umana Yana to be built in the city of Georgetown was erected in 1972. It was designed by Guyanese architect, Mr. George Henry and was built on the site of the old Marine’s Club. The structure took 80 days to be completed. Approximately 60 Wai Wai men and their chief Elka were transported from Konashen, Rupununi to Georgetown along with the structure’s core materials to get it constructed.
Overtime the benab’s condition deteriorated and this caused it to collapse in 1993; it was later rebuilt circa 1995. On April 07, 2001, the second structure along with the African Liberation Monument was gazetted as a National Monument. This benab, which was smaller than the first, was refurbished in 2003 and was subsequently destroyed by fire on September 09, 2014. Reconstruction of the third benab started in late 2015 and was completed in 2016.
African Liberation Monument
The African Liberation Monument is located on High Street, Kingston, Georgetown in the Umana Yana compound. The monument pays homage to those who had endured and continues to struggle for their freedom from human bondage. It was unveiled August 26, 1974 on ‘Namibia Day’ by then Executive President of Guyana, President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham as Guyana’s way of showcasing its support towards the liberation movement that was developing in the continent of Africa.