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“Dig Dutty”

“Dig Dutty”

The Practice of Matikor among Hindus in Guyana and Trinidad

Chapter:
(p.77) 3 “Dig Dutty”
Source:
Caribbean Masala
Author(s):
Dave RamsaranLinden F. Lewis
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496818041.003.0004

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

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