Mashramani 2024: Maxie Williams brings fusion of culture, heritage inspired by “One Guyana”

Guyana’s annual Mashramani celebration is not only a vibrant display of colours and feathers, but also a representation of the nation’s rich cultural tapestry.
Designer Maxie Williams has been at the forefront of this celebration for 25 years, infusing his designs with the essence of Guyanese culture and heritage. This year, he hopes to keep that culture alive as he brings more of his fusion and culture inspired by a “One Guyana” through its six peoples.
Over the years, there has been a decline in Mash bands on the road for Guyana’s Republic Day celebrations, or ‘Mashramani’, as most know it. However, despite a perceived decline, it is expected that concerted efforts will be made by both the Government and the Private Sector to enhance the Mashramani celebrations in 2024.

Designer Maxie Williams

This year already presents more opportunities for a better collaborative approach, with the Government and Private Sector joining forces to revitalize and expand the scope of Mashramani. This partnership is anticipated to foster greater support for designers and bands, paving the way for more elaborate and diverse presentations during the celebrations.
This collaboration is aimed at providing support and resources to designers, enabling them to create compelling and culturally relevant designs that reflect the essence of Guyana’s diverse heritage. This new effort signifies a commitment to preserving and promoting the rich tapestry of Guyanese culture through Mashramani.
Simultaneously, the Private Sector is poised to play a pivotal role in amplifying the scale and impact of Mashramani. By collaborating with designers and bands, the Private Sector can contribute to the development of grander and more immersive experiences, thereby attracting wider participation and engagement.
The joint efforts of the Government and Private Sector are anticipated to inject new energy and vibrancy into the Mashramani. This collaborative approach underscores a shared commitment to nurturing and evolving Guyana’s Republic Day festivities, ensuring that Mashramani continues to thrive as a cherished and exuberant representation of a “One Guyana” through culture.
One such designer is Maxie Williams, who gave this publication a perspective of the creative force behind his designs, his dedication to his career as a creative designer, and the stunning visuals that encapsulate the diversity of Guyana’s six peoples in his designs behind this year’s Mashramani bands.
His vision for the 2024 Mashramani celebration is to showcase the myriad of colours, races and cultures that form the foundation of the nation, while also emphasizing the importance of preserving and honouring traditional customs which we cannot and should not forget.
While embracing the growing enthusiasm for carnival in Guyana, Williams emphasised that “staying true to the essence of Mashramani and its significance is what keeps our culture relevant.” Always collaborating closely with various Government ministries and private organisations, he said that the aim is to “keep our culture alive.” Thus, he also takes inspiration from their ideas and reflects them in his breathtaking designs.

He pointed out that with Government ministries’ continuous effort to unite to celebrate this joyous occasion, there is no doubt that Mashramani would continue to evolve and captivate audiences year after year.
The increasing participation of bands, including those representing Private Sector entities as well, reflects the growing enthusiasm for Mashramani and its significance in Guyana, as well as celebrate our Republic Day.
“This is why I stand (that) Mashramani should and does reflect the Government of the day, showing their commitment,” Williams added.
For designers like Maxie Williams, Mashramani is not just about crafting elaborate costumes, but showcasing their hard work and commitment to Mashramani, its creativity, and the ongoing celebration of Guyana’s rich heritage.
As this year’s festivities unfold, the fusion of tradition, innovation and cultural pride will undoubtedly take centre stage, embodying the spirit of a nation united in its diversity.
Guyanese can look forward to seeing hundreds on bands on the road come February 23. Some bands slated to be on the road this Mashramani are several Government ministries’ bands, including Education; Culture, Youth and Sport; Local Government; Prime Minister’s Office; and among some private bands are Heritage Band, and Decoded ‘Atlantis Carnival band.
This year, Mashramani is being celebrated under the theme “Celebrating our peoples and our prosperity”.