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Historically the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana.
Although Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight Guyana during his third voyage (in 1498), and Sir Walter Raleigh wrote an account in 1596, the Dutch were the first Europeans to establish colonies: Essequibo (1616), Berbice (1627), and Demerara (1752).
More than 300 children were killed; the people were members of a group led by Jim Jones in Jonestown, the settlement which they had created.
Jim Jones's bodyguards had earlier attacked people taking off at a small remote airstrip close to Jonestown, killing five people, including Leo Ryan, a US congressman.
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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Guyana is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "land of many waters".In 1978, Guyana received international notice when 918 members of the American cult, Peoples Temple, died in a mass murder/suicide drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid.However, most of the suicides were by Americans and not Guyanese.The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language.