As farm lands spread, so too did a need for manual laborers, which led to the enslavement
of the indigenous people and the beginning of slavery in the region. The African
population vastly grew, leading to great conflicts between the slave owners and
the slaves themselves. Slave rebellions were a regular occurrence as many slaves
also escaped for the forests, often times marrying indigenous people, creating a
new ethnic combination and culture; these people are known as "maroons"
and their culture and lifestyle continue to the present to a degree.
Due to the arguments and rebellions, eventually the Dutch turned to allowing immigration
by anyone, creating a large influx of British and eventually British control over
the region. These people, who primarily moved from the Caribbean, again changed
the culture dramatically as British-Caribbean culture soon dominated the region.
However, the African and maroon cultures also existed. Despite the immigration,
laborers were still needed on the lands so the British welcomed additional immigrants,
who primarily came from India.
The Indians, along with other immigrants again changed the culture and lifestyle
in the region. Many of the ethnic Indians maintained cultural aspects, languages,
foods, religions, and more from their home country. Even today nearly half the country
is ethnically Indian and these people dominate the country's culture and lifestyle.
However, a large number of ethnic Africans maintain a unique culture, and the indigenous
people in the forests also continue to live with many similarities as they have
in the past.
Although the many sub-cultures exist in Guyana, they also all have similarities,
primarily due to a shared history and the same past influences, which being with
the British, whose most notable introductions include the English language, Protestantism
(which was also influenced by the Dutch and others), and technological improvements.
However, due to the diversity even these commonalities are not shared by the majority,
although technology is slowly creating a more uniform culture and lifestyle across
all ethnic groups.