Understanding the Mauritian Kitchen History Through Primary and Secondary Sources

Conference: The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH2020)
Title: Understanding the Mauritian Kitchen History Through Primary and Secondary Sources
Stream: History/Historiography
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Sabrina Ramsamy-Iranah, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Santaram Venkannah, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Deepa Gokulsing, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Vishwanath Pooneeth, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Yovesh Bhiwoo, University of Mauritius, Mauritius


The kitchen is the multifunctional space in a home where family and friends spend quality time to prepare food, cook, eat as well as discuss daily things. To understand the evolution of the kitchen in Mauritius, the primary and secondary sources compiled by the Mauritian Heritage Funds (Appravasi Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi Institute Folk Museum and Le Morne – Trou Chennile Village) depicting the life of slaves, labourers, and traders who brought their tangible and intangible heritage were extensively studied. In addition, to understand the transition of Mauritians from the Silent and the baby boomers’ generation, a qualitative study using the snowball sampling method on 22 participants aged between 55 and 95 years was conducted. Their kitchen histories and adjustments done over the years in the kitchens were recorded and transcribed during face-to-face interviews. Both rural and urban areas from the North, South, East, Center, and West of Mauritius were targeted to conduct this study. The countless memories of the kitchen in this age group are very important as some have still maintained traditional methods and elements of cooking such as the ‘roche cari’, ‘foyer’, and ‘rechaud’.

Virtual Presentation