Records of the Indian Indentured Labourers

Documentary heritage submitted by Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

© National Archives Trinidad & Tobago
Man’s Emigration Pass, 1892.

The Indian Indentured immigration was first accounted for in the 1830s and over a period of roughly 100 years 1,194,957 Indians were relocated to 19 colonies. These records are the only documents for ancestral and lineage research for the numerous descendants of those Indian Labourers. The arrival of large groups of Indian labourers in the receiving colonies had immense repercussions, many of which are still being felt today. The Indian Diaspora had an enormous impact on the local economy, the politics and the socio-cultural make up of the colonies.

Records of the Indian Indentured Labourers

Documentary heritage submitted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2017. The "Records of the Indian Indentured Labourers" were recommended as an addition to the "Records of the Indian Indentured Labourers" inscribed in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

Following the granting of emancipation by England there was, in most colonies, a universal shortage of cheap labour, particularly for agricultural work. The colonial government devised a scheme to send, under a system of indentureship, Indians to those colonies which were experiencing a labour shortage. Between 1861 and 1880, 2,474 Indians arrived in St. Vincent. The Records of the Indian Indentured Labourers (Fiji, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) already inscribed on the International Register bears testimony to the effect and contribution that Indians have made to the receiving societies and cultures. This nomination extends that inscription and narrative by providing details of the documentary heritage of Indian Indentureship as it occurred in St. Vincent.

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