Cultural studies

Edited by David Dabydeen, Maria del Pilar Kaladeen, and Tina K. Ramnarine
April 30, 2018

The abolition of slavery was the catalyst for the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers into the sugar colonies of Mauritius (1834), Guyana (1838) and Trinidad (1845), followed some years later by the inception of the system in South Africa (1860) and Fiji (1879). By the time indenture was abolished in the British Empire (1917–20), over one million Indians had been contracted, the overwhelming majority of whom never returned to India. Today, an Indian indentured labour diaspora is to be found in Commonwealth countries including Belize, Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles.

Indenture, whereby individuals entered, or were coerced, into an agreement to work in a colony in return for a fixed...