Moorings: Indian Ocean Creolizations

Francoise Verges
Carpanin Marimoutou


In this essay written in 2004, Françoise Vergès and Carpanin Marimoutou explore the ways in which processes and practices of creolization occurred in Réunion Island. They argue that creolization must be analyzed within the historical, political and cultural context in which they emerge.
Vergès and Marimoutou reflect on these processes -- frictions, conflicts, and exchanges among slaves, settlers, migrants, and indentured workers from Madagascar, Mozambique, Gujarat, Bengal, France, Tamil Nadu, Southern China, Malaysia, Vietnam..., who were brought or came on the uninhabited island, colonized by the French in the 17th century. The authors also looked at the post-colonial moment, the French policies of assimilation and repression in the 1960s-1970s. For them, vernacular cultural practices and memories of struggle continue to work as counter strategies against local and national reactionary politics. In their conclusion, Vergès and Marimoutou look at the current form of globalization and its consequences on processes of creolization.


Indian Ocean; Creolization; Vernacular Practices; Creole

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