Indo-Guyanese Women Poets

Footnotes for “They Came in Ships”

Stanza One
Whitby and Hesperus: The first two ships that brought Indian laborers from Calcutta, India to Guyana in 1838. 
Fatel Rozack: Regarded as the first ship to bring indentured laborers from India to Trinidad in 1845.

Stanza Three
Rajput Soldiers: These soldiers were part of the Indian army and their name refers to their location in India. 
Brahmin and Chamar: Brahim refers to the highest caste in India while Chamar refers to the lowest.

Stanza Seven
Logie: Long, one-story homes that indentured laborers lived in during British indenture (est. 1850s to 1917)
Barrack-rooms: Poorly constructed and badly ventilated rooms given to enslaved peoples and then to the indentured peoples once slavery was abolished in 1834.

Stanza Eight
Enmore: A village in the Demerara-Mahaica region of Guyana. Perhaps referring to the riots and protests that took place in 1964 between the Indo and Afro-Caribbean community, Enmore remains a segregated village, with upwards of 90% of residents being Indo-Caribbean.  
Leonora: A village in the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara of Guyana. 

Stanza Nine 
Coolie: Offensive term used for indentured laborers who came from India or China.

Stanza Ten
Cuffy...1763: Cuffy was an enslaved man who led a slave revolt of over 2,500 against the British colonial rule. 
Des Voeux: William Des Voeux was a British colonial administrator who advocated for the rights of Indian indentured laborers living in Guyana during the 1870s. 

Stanza Eleven
Beaumont: Chief Justice Joseph Beaumont, long with Des Voeux and Crosby tried to secure the protection and fair treatment of Indian indentured laborers. 

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