Online ISSN: 2221-7886

Volume 2, Number 2 (2011)
The Golden Age and Decline of Matelot, Trinidad (1885-1945)
Dane Morton-Gittens
The history of the north coast, especially the North-Eastern Division, has always been the history of Toco, and thus the village of Matelot never had a separate voice. Matelot is located 46 miles from Port of Spain and the last village on the Paria Main Road (Figure 1). It has been an isolated village for most of its history, so much so that the terms Behind God's Back and Down in the Hole were coined to describe the area. However, during the period 1885 to 1945, Matelot's isolation was temporarily broken when cocoa became profitable, and attempts were made to "liberate" Matelot from Toco. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct a major period of Matelot's past. A brief overview prior to 1889 will be discussed, followed by its rise and slow decline through the 1930s into the 1940s.