In the Shadows of the Jaguar – The Legendary Porknocker

Porknocker

In the Shadows of the Jaguar

The Legendary Porknocker

By Dmitri Allicock

New “shouts” of gold deep in wild of 1800s Guyana lured the individual gold prospector and gave birth to the legendary Porknocker. Leathery men left the comforts of their homes in Guyana and around the Caribbean for the inhospitable interior armed with only spade and battel, in search for that golden salvation of hesperides and became an unfathomed reservoir of stories, myths,  legend and incarnation fiction without boundaries.

For thousands of years gold was a part of the history of the native people of the Americas and Guyana and the association of gold attracted the attention of many early explorers of written history. It was even suggested that Guyana was the source of the elusive and legendary city of El Dorado, fabled for its great wealth of gold and precious jewels. In 1595, prompted by the great riches brought back from South America by the Spanish, Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain of her Majesty’s Guard, embarked from London on an expedition in search of the city of El Dorado.

[Read more In The Shadows of The Jaguar- The Legendary Porknocker]

Etaname (Itanami)- Yoruba Singers

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Comments

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 14, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Retired Porknocker of Guyana gives an account on porknocking at Bartica- Educational Broadcast Corp-”Up River through Guyana” 1993

  • African Cultural & Development Association  On January 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Barrington Braithwaite wrote a comic book and a play called the shadow of the Jaguar…Barry’s work is copyrighted…strange that you are using the same title about the same topic…this is what is wrong about Guyana Arts…use the information yes but give the credit to the original artist…Barry’s play was done at the cultural centre with Norman Beaton (the renowed actor playing a part)….his comic was featured in the Guyana Chronicle newspapers for years until the change of government….

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 15, 2014 at 11:17 am

    The name for this short article was just a random name that popped up in my mind and happened to be just a coincidence and just that. I never read that comic book or knew its name.
    I did 4 other articles about the Porknocker and history of gold prospecting including “the 1897 Wismar/Rockstone Railway,” “the 1933 Denham Bridge,” “Bartica- A missed Opportunity” and “The Letters of the Porknocker”.
    Someone asked me two days ago to write something about the Porknocker exclusively so this was slapped together within a couple hours since the material comes from the prior 4 articles. If “ In the Shadow of the Jaguar” was used by B. Braithwaite before and associated with the Porknocker then credit goes to him. I was just looking up this catchy phrase and it populates all over the internet and is quite common.

  • gigi  On January 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I visited Bartica once with relatives when I was about 14 years old. My mom’s great nephew owned a house there which now makes sense because he also owned a dredge. I remember it being a quiet and sleepy sort of place but without the genteelness of a resourceful country town like Wakenaam.
    I remember when I was in high school, my sisters and I used to work at my aunt’s clothing stall in Stabroek Market during summer and Christmas breaks and how she used to get on our case to pester the Native American ‘porknockers’ to buy stuff – much like the sales people do in the Indian stores in Jackson Heights, NY. I remember having revulsions and feeling ashamed when some had the mistaken impression that I was part and parcel of their purchases. Reading this article, and looking back on it now, I can see why they may have gotten this mindset that everyone (and everything) is for sale. That’s the really sad state of the human life… that we can think this and do this so freely.

    South America’s El Dorado is part of the setting in Voltaire’s ‘Candide’. No mention of Guyana but the book itself is one of my all time favorites.

    • Dmitri Allicock  On January 17, 2014 at 3:19 am

      Thanks Gigi. Quite a few of my Van Lange, Fiedtkou, Allicock relatives were involved in both the gold and diamond prospecting for generations and some still do and host of porknocking stories were passed on within the family.

  • Anna Iles  On January 31, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Dmitri, the photo above is not Guyana. It is the Kukenán tepui located in Canaima National Park in the Guayana Region, Venezuela. Next to Kukenán, to the south-east, is Mount Roraima. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuken%C3%A1n-tepui

    See also: http://brazilphotos.photoshelter.com/image/I0000ZkcZTjf9Xdw with Roraima at the right of Kukenán.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for your comments Anna, the picture depicts the geology of gold in Guiana’s highland and Sir Walter Raleigh’s legendary Eldorado.

    • meryl thompson  On June 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Hi, do you know anything about pigeon island brown? he was my fathers uncle,

      • Dmitri Allicock  On June 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

        Sorry Meryl, I don’t think so

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