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Longing And Belonging In Real Time: How Chagossian Children In Mauritius Imagine The Chagos Islands

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns the children of the some 1,500 Chagossians who were relocated to Mauritius, and focuses specifically on children between the ages of nine and twelve. The concept of Chagossian children refers to children who claim to have at least one grandparent who dwelled in the Chagos archipelago. All children in our research identified themselves as being Chagossian despite the fact that they usually were of mixed ancestry. The chapter begins by introducing two Chagossian girls and their ideas of kinship and Chagos. Chagossians are popularly classified as members of the Creole category in Mauritius. Creoles are considered to be the descendants of people who were brought in as slaves from mainly East Africa and Madagascar to toil on the sugar plantations. It was notable that Chagossians are seen as people who had curly hair, and were considered to be lazy, unemployed and socially marginalized.

Keywords: Chagos archipelago; Chagossian; Creole category; East Africa; Madagascar; MAURITIUS



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