‘Destination Kwama’ by Fabian Vas
The most southerly destination in Suriname, Kwamalasamutu is a remote native village set on the banks of the Sipaliwini River, close to its confluence with the Corantijn. It is home to around 1,000 predominantly Tiriyó inhabitants.
The main attraction of the region is the elaborate petroglyphs engraved into the walls of the Werehpai Caves. The caves lie about a two hour walk from the village along a rough jungle path. Discovered in 2004, Werehpai is a formation of gigantic boulders that extends across a couple of hectares. It is decorated with at least 350 ancient rock carvings, the greatest concentration in the Amazon region. Depicting humanoid forms, animals and abstract patterns, the richly symbolic petroglyphs are almost impossible to date, but are probably more than 4,000 years old. The work of presumably ancestors to the Tiriyó people that inhabit the region today.