Mata Press Service,
Special to The Post
Linda Aïnouche is an ethnographer who was born in France and has lived in several countries. Currently based in New York, she is completing a documentary entitled Dreadlocks Story.
It profiles the evolution of African and Indian culture in Jamaica during the era of British sugar plantations, and slave labour.
In particular, she is looking at the Rastafari movement which started in the 1930's in Jamaica. Aïnouche finds that there is mention of people from Indian ancestry in the early years of the Rastafari movement.
From 1672 to 1834, the British forcibly captured and enslaved over two million people from Ghana and Nigeria and shipped them to Jamaica.
From 1845 to 1917, the British added another 36,000 Indians to their sugar plantations on the Caribbean island.
British rule on Jamaica ended in 1884.
South Asian Post: Describe your documentary?
Linda Aïnouche: I am using freedom of matted hair in Jamaica and in India to exhibit the parallelism between Rastas and Sadhus, those Hindu holy men, and how they have been in contact. Indians transported in Jamaica were Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and one Jain. So far, no Sikhs has been found recorded in the Jamaican census archives.
South Asian Post: What was the inspiration for this documentary?
Linda Aïnouche: I used to work and live in India notably with the Jain community. I also have a strong acquaintance and involvement within Jamaican culture. There is a parallel between Rastafari and Hinduism. This link has been suppressed. The late Professor Ajai Mansingh who lived in Kingston, Jamaica articulated this link between Rasta and Hindu culture but faced criticism over it.
South Asian Post: When will the film be released?
Linda Aïnouche: So far, I have already interviewed more than 40 people, Rastas, Sadhus, and other specialists on this topic. I am finishing the production very soon while I will also start raising money for post-production expenses through Indiegogo crowd-funding.