The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.

Macoon, The Trinidad ‘Sepoy Bandit’

Macoon, the trinidad ‘sepoy bandit’

THE story of Macoon is very interesting on several levels. First, it shows how the spectre of the mutineer sepoy lurking amongst the ‘coolies’ ready to reap carnage remained a powerful image across Trinidadian society into the late nineteenth century. Second, it shows how individuals from the Indian labour diaspora, seeking to challenge the existing order, played upon and enjoyed associating themselves with the mutineer sepoy image. Macoon evidently relished his ‘outlaw’ status and claimed to have been a sepoy in India. Whether this is true or not, we do not know, but that is less important than his claim and the fact that this is not laughed off but repeated and stressed in the ...

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