I really liked the lecture on March 1st where we viewed photos of Indian women. In these photos, women advertised their beauty and their prosperity. Almost always, the women depicted were laden with silver and gold. Their bodies showcased these precious metals usually in the form of bangles on their wrists. They also were generally depicted wearing silk blouses and ornies on their head, adorned with lace. I found it interesting that wearing these metals and blouses allowed these women to show their wealth and status. These representations of self were all very similar in the women’s facial expressions. Most women had inscrutable expressions, no photo shew a woman smiling, which is common for photos seen in the present day.
I think it’s interesting that these women were referred to as Coolies because the term was conventionally used to refer to laborers, but in these photos the women appear to be moderately wealthy. Using the term “Coolie” to refer to these women marks them as foreigners in the Caribbean. It made it clear that they were not from this place, and served the purpose of laboring, regardless of their status.