Acting Chief of the First People Eric Lewis performs the last rights for Grand Chief Paul Navarro at the Moruga Grand Hall on Thursday. (Image by KRISTIAN DE SILVA)
RADHICA DE SILVA
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The funeral of Moruga’s Grand Chief and Chief of First Peoples, Paul Navarro, is taking place today in Moruga.

The funeral is the first fully indigenous Amerindian ceremony to take place in Moruga in over 150 years.

Chief Navarro died at the age of 102 earlier this week.

His brother, Ezidore Navarro, 99, broke down in tears as the casket was wheeled into the Grand Hall of the Moruga Cocoa Museum.

Prince Eric Lewis, who is now acting Chief, blew a conch while the sound of the marac and bongo drums echoed through the halls.

Mourners wore traditional wear, while a wood-carved Amerindian statue representing the zemis of the ancestors looked over the casket.

Acting Chief of the First People Eric Lewis performs the last rights for Grand Chief Paul Navarro at the Moruga Grand Hall on Thursday. (Image by KRISTIAN DE SILVA)

Lewis said Chief Navarro was supposed to be honoured in a few weeks as the oldest Chief of the Region.

He said Chief Navarro’s dying wish was for the First Peoples to be recognized in T&T for their valuable contribution.

He said the First People of Moruga were now united and had brought together other indigenous people across the country.

Following the viewing at the hall, the body is expected to be taken to the Gran Chemin cemetery for burial.

Chief Navarro’s first headpiece, a dream catcher ornament, a deer horn, a wooden flute, a crystal stone for communication, as well as other ancient artefacts, were buried with Navarro’s body.