Muharram Ritual and the Carnivalesque in Trinidad
Gustav Thaiss
By Gustav Thaiss
Published on 06/10/2008

Beginning in the 19t h century, a wave of indentured workers were brought by the British from India to Trinidad to work the plantations which had been abandoned by former slaves who had been freed by the abolition of slavery in 1838. By 1917, the end of indentureship, nearly 144,000 workers had been brought to Trinidad. The majority came from the North Indian areas of Agra and Oudh (Awadh), and while most were Hindu, there were Muslims among them, a minority of whom were Shi'a.  The Muslims brought their devotional practices with them to the Caribbean and they continued to commemorate the Muharram rituals on the plantations.