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Pork-knockers in the backdam

Self-made Men:
Just a stone's throw from the site of the infamous Jonestown massacre of 1979, pork-knockers (artisanal miners) Kurth Rodney (right) and his off-sider come seeking their fortunes. They're a small outfit, working for themselves and chasing the derelict ponds and gravel pits the bigger operators leave behind. Guyana’s population of 756,000 live mainly on its inundated Caribbean coastline. Kurth, like so many young unemployed residents from the capital Georgetown, sees a stint in the backdam, despite its social and environmental hazards, as a way to make some quick money. Unfortunately, the backdam, because of its lawlessness, also attracts a strong criminal element. One way to make it harder for your gold to be stolen in these thievish frontiers is to wear it in your mouth. Sporting glistening front teeth of gold Kurth's wry smile says it all: This is MY safety deposit box.
[Five Star backdam, The North West Districts, Guyana]

GUYANA | Friday, 5 July 2013 | Views [1101] | View Larger Image

Self-made Men: Just a stone's throw from the site of the infamous Jonestown massacre of 1979, pork-knockers (artisanal miners) Kurth Rodney (right) and his off-sider come seeking their fortunes. They're a small outfit, working for themselves and chasing the derelict ponds and gravel pits the bigger operators leave behind. Guyana’s population of 756,000 live mainly on its inundated Caribbean coastline. Kurth, like so many young unemployed residents from the capital Georgetown, sees a stint in the backdam, despite its social and environmental hazards, as a way to make some quick money. Unfortunately, the backdam, because of its lawlessness, also attracts a strong criminal element. One way to make it harder for your gold to be stolen in these thievish frontiers is to wear it in your mouth. Sporting glistening front teeth of gold Kurth's wry smile says it all: This is MY safety deposit box. [Five Star backdam, The North West Districts, Guyana]

Tags: guyana gold mining

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