The Practice of Matikor among Hindus in Guyana and Trinidad
This chapter examines the Matikor or “Dig Dutty” ritual in Guyana and Trinidad. The Dig Dutty/Matikor ritual is an important part of Hindu ethnic identity. It is central to the story of historical displacement and reterritorialization, and it is a testimony to the tenacity of a people for whom such practices have long been seen, by many in the Guyanese and Trinidadian communities at large, as backward, pagan, and even a bit coarse. In the face of modernization, the Matikor/Dig Dutty ritual has shown remarkable resilience. However, while modernity has not rendered Matikor/Dig Dutty irrelevant, the process of creolization has certainly modified some of the ritual's specific practices. Nonetheless, given its endurance as a symbolic practice, Matikor/Dig Dutty demands much more scholarly attention than it has received to date.
Keywords: Matikor, Dig Dutty, ritual, Guyana, Trinidad, Hindu ethnic identity, modernity, creolization, symbolic practice