Dougla people

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Dougla people
Regions with significant populations
(notably in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique)
Diaspora in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands
English, French, Dutch, English creoles, Sranan Tongo, Antillean French Creole, Caribbean Hindustani
Predominantly: Minority:
Related ethnic groups
Afro-Caribbeans, Indo-Caribbeans

Dougla people (plural Douglas) are Caribbean people who are of mixed African and Indian descent. The word Dougla (also Dugla or Dogla) is used throughout the Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean.


The word Dougla originated from dogala (दोगला), which is a Caribbean Hindustani word that literally means "two-necks" and may mean "many", "much" or "a mix".[1] Its etymological roots are cognate with the Hindi "do" meaning "two" and "gala", which means "throat,". Within the West Indies context, the word is used only for one type of mixed race people: Afro-Indians.[2]

The 2012 Guyana census identified 29.25% of the population as Afro-Guyanese, 39.83% as Indo-Guyanese, and 19.88% as "mixed," recognized as mostly representing the offspring of the former two groups.[3]

In the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique), mixed Afro-Indian people used to be called Batazendyen or Chapé-Kouli and in Haiti they were called Marabou.


There are sporadic records of Indo-Euro interracial relationships, both consensual and nonconsensual, before any ethnic mixing of the African and Indian variety.[4]

Other Indo-based types of mixed heritage (Indo-Chinese (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-Amerindian) tended to identify as one of the older, unmixed ethnic strains on the island: Afro, Indo, Amerindian or Euro or passing as one of them.[5]

In Trinidad culture[edit]

In 1961, the calypsonian musician Mighty Dougla (born Cletus Ali) described the predicament of Douglas:[6]

If they sending Indians to India,
And Africans back to Africa,
Well, somebody please just tell me,
Where they sending poor me,
I am neither one nor the other,
Six of one, half dozen of the other,
So if they sending all these people back home for true,
They got to split me in two

— Split Me in Two

Notable Douglas[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilk, Richard; Barbosa, Livia (2013-05-09). Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places. Berg. ISBN 9781847889058.
  2. ^ Winer, Lise (2009). Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-7735-3406-3.
  3. ^ Bureau of Statistics, Guyana (July 2016). 2012 Census Compendium 2: Computation Composition (PDF) (Report). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-01-05. Retrieved 2022-12-04.
  4. ^ Regis, Ferne Louanne (17 August 2016). The Trinidad Dougla: Identity, Ethnicity and Lexical Choice. Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 9781443898997.
  5. ^ "Dougla dilemma".
  6. ^ Khan, Aisha (2007). "Mixing Matters: "Callaloo Nation" Revisited". Callaloo. 30 (1): 51–67. doi:10.1353/cal.2007.0145. ISSN 0161-2492. JSTOR 30135865. S2CID 154502534 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ Batson-Savage, Tanya (2013-07-01). "Esther Anderson: "They said I'd snubbed Hollywood"". Caribbean Beat Magazine. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  8. ^ "I wouldn't say I am lucky… Interview with Johnson Beharry, VC – The Best You Magazine". 17 May 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  9. ^ Calloway, Sway (2001-05-29). "Foxy Brown – Outspoken (Part 4)". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-05-09.
  10. ^ Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (2004) The Rough Guide to Reggae, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-329-4, p. 286
  11. ^ "Mr. Solo: Serjad Makmadeen aka Joseph Charles". 14 June 2008.
  12. ^ "The Honorable Mervyn M. Dymally's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  13. ^ "Information director's criticisms of Indian descent conference don't represent gov't position". Stabroek News. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  14. ^[bare URL PDF]
  15. ^ Comparative studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vols 17–8, Duke University Press, 1997, p. 124.
  16. ^ "'Seriously' Speaking: Will Lisa be the 'Last Woman Standing'? | Loop Jamaica".
  17. ^ Today Show: "Lester and Jenna trace their Jamaican roots" Aired on September 9, 2012 Archived September 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Holt, Lester (2007-05-11). "To Jamaica with Mom". allDAY. NBC News. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  19. ^ Regis, Ferne-Louanne (2016). The Trinidad Dougla: identity, ethnicity and lexical choice. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-4438-9899-7. OCLC 956991420.
  20. ^ "Reggae Singer Diana King official Biography". Dance Hall Reggae World. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  21. ^ Rajee Narinesingh
  22. ^ "Gala 2016". Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Inc. Archived from the original on 2020-08-11. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  23. ^ "Guyanese-born New York Assemblywoman, Roxanne Persaud, was elected to the New York State Senate". November 4, 2015.
  24. ^ "New York's immigrant lawmakers make their mark". Times Union. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  25. ^ Jennifer Bisram (Sep–Oct 2009). "Thara Aims High: What can't she do?". MoraFire. Retrieved 2009-11-02.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^[bare URL PDF]
  28. ^ Baksh, Darrell Gerohn (2012). "Jep Sting Radica with Rum and Roti: Trinidadian Social Dynamics in Chutney Music". Popular Music and Society. 37 (2): 152–168. doi:10.1080/03007766.2012.737593. S2CID 143840668.
  29. ^ Sobat, Peter. "XXXTENTACION CALLS OUT DRAKE IN HIS FIRST INTERVIEW AFTER JAIL". blurredculture. Archived from the original on March 9, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Barratt, Sue A, and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh. Dougla in the Twenty-First Century: Adding to the Mix. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2021. ISBN 9781496833709. See also CUNY Asian and Asian American Research Institute author interview on 19 November 2021.