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, cooly
1. a cheaply hired unskilled Oriental labourer
2. Derogatory an Indian living in South Africa



a term used to designate low-paid, unskilled workers (including porters, stevedores, manual laborers, rickshaw-boys, and day laborers) in China (prior to 1949), India, and other countries of eastern and southeastern Asia. The name was also used for unskilled workers who signed contracts to work in America, South Africa, and Australia. The workers included Chinese, Indians, Malays, and Negroes, who performed the hardest jobs on plantations and in mines. The institution of contracted coolies arose during the 1830’s and 1840’s, after the abolition of slavery in the British, Dutch, and French colonies, and it grew considerably during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.

References in periodicals archive ?
On Thursday, Manju appeared before the police for verification and the report was expected within two- three days, said Salamuddin Khan, president of the North Western Railway Coolie Mazdoor Union, who has been a big help for the illiterate Manju.
Bachchan's personal favourite -- a Hussain painting titled Hanuman -- gifted to him while he was at Breach Candy hospital recovering from an accident on the sets of Coolie , will be a prominent painting in the book and at the exhibition.
The other screening scheduled on the inaugural day was a 25-minute documentary by Trinidad and Tobago-based filmmaker Patricia Mohammed, titled Coolie, Pink and Green.
If the dominant nineteenth-century image of a female addict was the ailing middle-class matron, the stereotyped male addict of that period was the pig-tailed Chinese coolie or perhaps an aesthete inspired by Thomas De Quincey or Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Now that peasantry is in vogue / Poetry bubbles from peat bogs / People strain for the old folk's fatal gobs" (David Dabydeen, Coolie Odyssey, 1988).
She's also particularly fond of a brightly-coloured rug from Equador, a Moroccan mosaic table, and a collection of coolie hats from the Far East which make wonderful wall decorations.
Tenders are invited for Engagement of Coolie for operation & maintenance of various Substation under Electricity Transmission Circle , Gorakhpur
Becker, a performance artist and photographer, surreptitiously inserts himself into his photographs as a coolie, a rickshawwala, or a barber.
Long tunics over pencil skirts in silken earth tones were set off with wide-brimmed coolie hats and coral jewellery.
Chamberlin lists a number of young writers of (East) Indian origin such as Ramabhai Espinet, Sasenarine Persaud, Arnold Itwaru, Mahadai Das, Cyril Dabydeen, and Rajandaye Ramkissoon-Chen; but apart from his fine analysis of the title poem of David Dabydeen's collection Coolie Odyssey, his only comment is, "There are some especially interesting uses of the languages, forms, and rhythms of Hindu chants, Muslim calls to prayer, and the curses and cow-calls of the Indian communities in Trinidad and Guyana in contemporary Indo-Caribbean poetry, offering a new dimension to the discussion of relationships between local and literary language.
Today, even a coolie at VT Station earns more than that in five days.
Furthermore, Devi gives her novel a historical perspective through the towering silhouette of the grandfather, who came over from India at the beginning of the century to work on a plantation as a coolie and became something of a priest and a local saint for his freres du bateau.