What are the roots of Indo Guyanese

Dougla people - Dougla people

Regions with significant population groups
Caribbean, especially in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Martinique and Suriname
English, French, Dutch, Caribbean Hindustani
Predominantly : minority :
Related ethnic groups
Afro-Caribbean, Indo-Caribbean

Dougla (Plural Douglas ) are Caribbean of mixed African and Indian ancestry. The word Dougla (also Dugla or Dogla ) is used in the Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean.


The word Dougla date back to Doogala (दुगला), a Caribbean Hindustani word that can mean "many", "a lot" or "a mixture". Some of the connotations of the word, such as bastard, illegitimate, and son of a bitch, are secondary and restricted to parts of northern India where the term may have originated. In the West Indies, the word is only used for Afro-Indo mixed race, although it was originally used as a word to describe the caste mix. The word has its etymological roots in Hindi, where "do" means two and "gala" means "throat". The word could have been used to refer to people who could speak Indian and African languages.

Guyana, Afro-Guyana, and Indo-Guyanese make up half of the population and Douglas number 15% of the country's demographics.

In the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique), mixed Afro-Indian people were called Batazendien or Chapé-Coolie, those who escaped the uncomfortable Indian state by becoming hybrids.

In the French West Indies, they are now treated more positively by other populations and no longer face the cruel existential dilemma of the post-slavery era. The unusual phenomenon of mutual acceptance and cultural exchange, now referred to by some as the "Guadeloupe Model", has contributed greatly to the rare harmony of the multiracial French West Indian communities.


There are sporadic records of consensual and non-consensual relationships between the Indo and Euro interracial before the African and Indian varieties mix ethnically. Women were a rarity among previous Indian migrants. Many did not travel across the Atlantic for a number of reasons, including fear of exploitation and the assumption that they were unable to work.

Socio-religious practices played a role as religious practices are of paramount importance to the Hindu religion and the preservation of religion and culture was of the utmost importance for the identified workers in a hostile and prejudicial environment towards them. Islam had similar religious and cultural requirements as the caste system among South Asian Muslims, as well as the Koran's prohibition on marrying only those who have similar religious beliefs, ancestors, tribes and languages. The connection with people outside the community who adharmic and tamasic Practices (for Hindus) and Haram Practices practiced (for Muslims) were seen as a compromise for their religion and culture, which were seen as essential for survival in the foreign land.

The second reason was socio-economic. The arrival of the Indians in the British Caribbean was not meant to be permanent. For most Indian immigrants, the goal was to achieve material prosperity under contract and then return to their respective home countries. The dougla represents the postponement and deferral of that goal, when it does not make it totally impossible, a living symbol of the departure from cultural custom is jati.

Other Indo-based species of mixed heritage (Indochinese (Chindians), Indo-Latino / Hispanic (Tegli), Indo-English (Anglo-Indians), Indo-Portuguese (Luso Indians), Indo-Irish (Irish Indians), Indo-Scottish (Scottish -Indians), Indo-Dutch, Indo-Arabs, and Indo-Carib) tended to identify as one of the older, unmixed ethnic tribes on the island: Afro, Indo, Amerindian, or Euro, or one of them.

In the Trinidad culture

A Calypsonian, the Mighty Dougla (Clatis Ali), described the location of Douglas in the 1960s:

"When they go Indians to India
and send Africans back to Africa
Well somebody please just tell me
where do you send me poor?
I am neither one nor the other.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
So if they send all these people home "for true
You have to split me in two "

Notable Douglas

  • Kamala Harris, Indo-Jamaican politician
  • Cletus Ali, musician from Trinidad better known as Mighty Dougla
  • Tatyana Ali, American actress from Trinidad
  • Esther Anderson, actress (UK; born Jamaica)
  • Johnson Beharry, a Grenadian British soldier in the British Army
  • Melissa Bell, Jamaican British singer and mother of Alexandra Burke
  • Foxy Brown, rapper (US; Trinidadian and Tobagonian background)
  • Alexandra Burke, British Jamaican singer and daughter of Melissa Bell
  • Super Cat, Jamaican DJ
  • Sabrina Colie, actress (USA; born in Jamaica)
  • Mervyn Dymally, American politician from Trinidad
  • Special Ed, rapper (US; Jamaican background)
  • Marlene Malahoo Forte, politician (Jamaica)
  • Amy Ashwood Garvey, Activist (Jamaica)
  • Lisa Hanna, Miss World 1993, MP Saint Ann South Eastern
  • Lester Holt, US news anchor and journalist
  • Diana King, singer (USA; born in Jamaica)
  • Sonnet L'Abbé, Guyanese Canadian poet
  • Sir Trevor McDonald, British news anchor and journalist from Trinidad
  • Rajee Narinesingh, LGBT activist (US; background in Trinidad and Tobagon)
  • Furdjel Narsingh, football player (Netherlands; Surinamese background)
  • Luciano Narsingh, football player (Netherlands; Surinamese background)
  • Nicki Minaj, singer, rapper (USA; born in Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Roxanne Persaud, politician (USA; born in Guyana)
  • Thara Prashad, singer and model
  • Yendi Phillips, model (Jamaica)
  • Gema Ramkeesoon, social worker and women's rights activist (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Krishmar Santokie, cricketer
  • Toni-Ann Singh, Miss World 2019 (Jamaica)
  • Abrahim Simmonds, Youth Attorney (Jamaica)
  • Joyce Vincent, a woman whose death went unnoticed for more than two years when her body lay undetected in her London bed (United Kingdom; Grenadian background)

See also


External links