An Acewayo droger [Guyana porter]…who had remained outside the awful grinding inevitability of linear time that the Columbian era had imposed upon his people…told me of the journeys he took in and out of the regions of the mind. The band across his forehead, and the harness strapped under his armpits distributed the hundred and twenty-five pounds he carried in his wareshi [back-pack with a harness around the forehead and shoulders] so that by thrusting his head forward he could walk at a steady, rhythmic shuffle from dayclean [dawn] to sunset. We were averaging twenty-five miles a day in the mountainous Potaro district.
“How do you manage?” I asked, thinking of the thirty pounds I was carrying and the way it seemed to double itself after every ten miles. After a long pause he replied, “It’s like this, skipper. Most of the time you see me walking here, carrying this big load, I’m not here at all…is only shadow here, the substance is back home in Aquero, hunting agouti, or deer or labba, playing with my children, catching a gaff, listening to the Old Ones speak, talking to the Ancestors or to God. You can ask me how can I be in two places at one time, I will tell you the secret: the pressure of this wareshi on my brain makes it easy for me to send my mind away….At the start I feel like a drunken man, there’s a singing inside my head, my body feels heavy and the wareshi feels like a mountain on my back. Then all of a sudden everything gets lighter and lighter until I feel like a silk cotton blossom floating on wind. Once I reach this stage, I can walk from here to the Forest of the Long Night without feeling any weariness.
Jan Carew, Fulcrums of Change, 108-109