How Kaieteur Records Got It’s Name…
On April 24, 1870 Charles Barrington Brown, one of two British geologists appointed government surveyors to the colony of British Guiana (now known as Guyana), became the first European to see Kaieteur Falls. The other surveyor was James Sawkins. Brown and James Sawkins arrived in Georgetown in 1867 and did some of their mapping and preparation of geological reports together, some in separate expeditions, but Sawkins had taken a break from his work when Brown came upon Kaieteur.
At the time of discovery Brown did not have time to investigate Kaieteur Falls closer and he returned here one year later when measurements of the waterfall were made.
Brown’s book Canoe and Camp life in British Guiana was published in 1876. Two years later, in 1878, he publishedFifteen Thousand Miles on the Amazon and its tributaries.
According to a Patamona Indian legend, Kaieteur Falls was named for Kai, a chief, or Toshao who acted to save his people by paddling over the falls in an act of self-sacrifice to Makonaima, the great spirit.
Another legend though was told to Brown by Amerindians in the night of discovery of falls: Kaieteur has been named after an unpleasant old man who was placed in a boat and shoved in the fall by his relatives. Thus the fall was named “Kaieteur” what means – “old-man-fall”.