This is a Kylaris Article of Recognition.


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A photograph of gowsas working in Satucin, 1927
A painting of some gowsa transport ships as seen in Binhame Inlet in the 19th century

A gowsa (/'gaʊzə/) is an emigrant from Dezevau or the Aguda Empire who has migrated to work in manual labour overseas for economic reasons. The term is especially applied to those who moved under contract in the 19th and early 20th centuries to the colonial holdings of Euclean empires (especially the Estmerish and the Gaullican), many of which had a labour shortage because of the abolition of slavery. Most originated from the Doboadane River basin or its surrounds, in the northeastern Aguda Empire. Commonly, gowsas were transported and worked in poor conditions, under contracts of indenture which sometimes resembled (but were distinct from) slavery. Many gowsas returned home after working for a time, but many also, either by choice or necessity, settled in the places to which they had migrated. The descendants of gowsas form significant populations in many regions.

Most gowsas migrated to the parts of the Asterias around the Arucian Sea, where the availability of land combined with suitable climates meant colonial empires found it profitable to set up plantation economies. However, gowsas also frequently worked as servants, and in mining, construction, forestry and smallholder agriculture (in particular, market gardens). Large numbers also went to parts of Coius and islands of the Vehemens Ocean, or farther parts of the Asterias such as Cassier. Gowsas' contributions to labour-scarce colonial economies were significant, and they often came to occupy political and cultural niches. It is estimated that from the colonisation of the Asterias to the Great Collapse, around two million gowsas emigrated from Dezevau and its surrounds. Satucin received 450,000, as the single biggest destination, followed by Ardesia with 210,000. Gowsa migration was in decline by the time of the Great Collapse in 1913, owing to a range of factors, essentially ending as a mass phenomenon at that time.

The descendant populations of gowsas are typically substantially intermixed with other populations in their countries of residence, and there is no discernible wealth gap between those who are descended from gowsas and those who are not in most places. The historical presence and significance of gowsas in some places has seen the term be applied as an ethnic label (for example in Imagua and the Assimas) with varying usages depending on the locality, though usually being used as a blanket term for someone whose ancestors were substantially from northern Southeast Coius (but not slaves or recent migrants). The largest descendant populations of gowsas in the Asterias today are in Satucin, Rizealand, Ardesia, Gaullica, Eldmark and Estmere; mass migration of gowsas and their descendants from Asterias to the developed countries of Asteria Superior and Euclea occurred during the 20th century. Carucere is the only country where the descendants of gowsas form the largest ethnic group.


The Estmerish term "gowsa" comes from the Ziba phrase gauza zebiumhi, literally meaning "bitter migration".

Zebiumhi is, however, a culturally nuanced term; it refers specifically to the settlement of unsettled or non-agriculturalised areas, generally in pursuit of land and security of livelihood, and usually involves moving from one polity to another. Most zebiumhi in Dezevau until the 19th century was overland or via rivers, and occurred in regions adjacent to Dezevauni agricultural civilisation.

In early modern Dezevau, then, gauza zebiumhi referred to migration over saltwater, which was thought of as bitter, hence the terminology. The meaning was multifaceted, as gauza also brought to mind the difficulty of migration over long distances in that era. Eucleans took someone who engaged in gauza migration to be a "gowsa", the term which became established and commonplace, even official, for referring to that kind of migrant at the time.

The Gaullican term varies depending on the lect, being "gause" or "gausa", or rarely "gausie" or spelled with a double "s".


Aguda Empire

Gowsa migration can said to have originated during the Aguda Empire. While in the period preceding its establishment, wars and other disruptions had caused significant dislocation, there was no phenomenon of migration outside the local region outside of a few traders and adventurers. The period of population growth ushered in by the Aguda Empire from around the 16th century onwards coincided with the introduction of Euclean influences in the region. Despite the beneficial introduction of Asterian agricultural species, fertile land became scarce and economic conditions difficult at times. By the 18th century, small but notable numbers of Dezevaunis were taking advantage of Euclean maritime traffic to emigrate in search of a better existence. This migration was not encouraged by any governmental authorities, but the precedent it began to set would be significant in terms of the terms, customs and ideas which surrounded later migration.

Saint Bermude's Company

Saint Bermude's Company main offices at Saint-Bermude, fortified as they were in the 18th century

While the Aguda Empire formally continued to exist in some form or another until the early 19th century, its authority and integrity was usurped by the Gaullican Saint Bermude's Company mainly in the 18th century. The integration of Dezevau into a global economic system, at the head of which sat Euclea, opened opportunities for migration. Free migration in search of better economic conditions accelerated at this time, as the Saint Bermude's Company policies, designed to generate profit for itself and the homeland, failed to alleviate or even worsened the phenomenon of high food prices.

Euclean migration and Bahian slaves, however, provided for the great majority of labour needs in the global imperialist-capitalist system. The term "gowsa" became well-established at this time, as their populations, though smaller than those of Eucleans and Bahians, tended to be the third largest non-native group in colonised regions.

Abolition of slavery

Near the end of the 18th century, slavery was banned in Estmere, followed by most of the Eastern world in the first half of the 19th century. As ex-slaves migrated or changed the circumstances of their employment, this development created industry-specific or general shortages of labour in many colonial regions of the world, or strengthened the position of labour in those areas to an extent uncomfortable for rulers. Capitalists and governments sought a solution to this problem, and found one, inspired by the existing small communities of Dezevaunis.

A plantation in Vinalia

Because of the situation in their homeland from the development of city-states to corporate rule, Dezevauni peasants tended to be familiar with tropical agriculture, urbanisation and cash economies. They were also numerous, and had a culture or custom of migration for agricultural reasons, known as zebiumhi in Ziba. With existing migrants as proof of concept, colonial administrations began to induce mass migration from Dezevau to labour-poor areas under their rule, with the goal of alleviating the situation with labour. Saint Bermude's Company found it profitable to help arrange the emigration of those under its administration, which reduced pressure on resources and could net them a fee; world colonial powers found access to a cheap source of labour, which both did not carry the stigma of slavery, but was also less restive because of the better conditions granted than to the slaves of old. With Dezevau promoted in the Euclean eye as a semi-civilised locale, Euclean powers exported labour.

The great majority of gowsas migrated through the auspices of the Saint Bermude's Company, mostly to Gaullican colonies, but also being supplied to other Euclean powers either for profit or as a diplomatic boon. However, Estmere also took advantage of its holdings, small territories centred on Mount Palmerston, to export labour; the competition that went on between Estmere and Gaullica for local labour helped improve conditions for migrants, especially as it was relatively easy to move between Estmerish and Gaullican territories until later in the 19th century. A plurality, perhaps even most migrants, came from the Doboadane basin, in the northeast of modern Dezevau, which had been particularly violently and thoroughly colonised, and was rurally impoverished as a result; this was also the region in which the main Estmerish presence was. The single largest oceangoing port of departure for gowsas was Saint-Bermude, though very many first came through Mount Palmerston, or departed directly from there.

Port facilities at Noagiabegia

The abolition of slavery by Estmere in the late 18th century established it as a pioneer in the gowsa system for plantations, especially in Imagua. Numbers rose throughout the 18th century. The abolition of slavery in Satucin saw the largest boom in the 1840s. In the decades following the 1870s, they had a key role in the construction of Cassier's railways which was the first in the Asterias to connect cities on both sides of the continent by rail. Gaullica's colonisation of Tsabara saw gowsas brought in there. On the whole, gowsas in different regions and situations worked in fields as diverse as agriculture, construction, mining and forestry, and in the course of the 19th century, found their way to all sides of the Vehemens and beyond.

Photograph of gowsas from Bougediame in Imagua, 1935

Decline of gowsa migration

Towards the end of the 19th century, labour shortages ceased to be much of a problem in most gowsa destinations. This was as a result of long-running migration, but also the mechanisation of agriculture, and natural population growth. In destination regions themselves, the increasing trend of self-rule allowed nativism the power to reduce or prevent gowsa migration, and where it occurred, independence tended to sever a country's links to the colonial powers with access to the source of gowsas. Additionally, free migration from countries such as Senria and Shangea was on the rise globally as mobility improved and imperialism's reach became wider, even as push factors may have been declining in Dezevau where population pressures had been relieved by industry or new agricultural techniques.

It is thus that in 1889, with the formation of State of Désébau and the Bureau for Southeast Coius which controlled it, gowsa migration was already in decline. The colonial administration was aware of this fact, and furthermore, considered it unprofitable for and disruptive to the development of local extractive industries. This perception was possibly furthered by sympathetic remittances to the Dezevauni Section of the Workers' International made by wealthier gowsas or descendants of gowsas. Policy was therefore unsympathetic to further emigration, though it continued at a reduced rate.

In 1913, the Great Collapse occurred. As unemployment skyrocketed around the world, the phenomenon of gowsa migration finally essentially came to an end; most regions were worse hit than Désébau itself. Some, however, claim that small scale but still notably gowsa-style migration was still extant in the years leading up to the Great War.

Many gowsas returned to Dezevau in the 20th century; in Tsabara, essentially the entire gowsa population departed because of nationalism, changes in the postcolonial economy and the Great War. In many plantation economies, such as Imagua, gowsas and their descendants emigrated, being among the most recent ethnic groups to arrive, having entered the middle class, or finding employment had dried up. Many moved to the urban industrial centres of Asterian countries such as Cassier, Eldmark and Rizealand, or colonial metropoles such as Estmere and Gaullica.


A map with arrows indicating the numerical flow of gowsas from origin to destination, produced by the University of Biunhamao branch of the International Institute for Migration Studies in 2004

In total, over a million gowsas migrated, and around ten million people (outside of the countries of origin for gowsas) are identified as descendants of gowsas, or members of a gowsa class or ethnicity. Because of the role of self-identification in the latter, and varying methodologies around the world, ten million is widely acknowledged to be likely a much smaller number than the absolute number of people who have any ancestry at all from a permanently emigrated gowsa.

The great majority of gowsas were ethnic Dezevauni from within the borders of modern Dezevau, but migrants from across the Aguda Empire were counted also as gowsa (including today's Lavana and Hacyinia; sometimes, it was that non-ethnically Dezevauni migrants were not considered gowsa. In particular, a substantial number came from Kabu, where cultural and religious similarities meant there was often little distinction made between gowsas from there and the mainland. In Dezevau, most gowsas came from the Doboadane river basin region in the northeast, owing to its sea access, thorough colonisation and rural impoverishment. It is debated what proportion exactly came from there, but it is not doubted that it was such a large one that it was at least close to a majority.

Most gowsas migrated to the regions around the Arucian Sea, especially Asteria Inferior. Satucin received the greatest numbers. However, large numbers of gowsas and their descendants who were living in the Asterias during the 20th century moved to Cassier, Eldmark and Rizealand, as these countries emerged as the strongest and most developed economies of the hemisphere, as well as to Estmere and Gaullica, which were the developed colonial metropoles of gowsa colonies. This phenomenon has been termed by some as secondary migration or remigration, and has resulted in the phenomenon that these countries, along with Satucin, have the most descendants of gowsas today.

Gowsa destinations

Country legend (1840 CE)

This table lists territories extant in 1840 and the total number of gowsas who moved to them, with subtitles by geographical region.

Territory Number
Continental Asteria Inferior
Arbolada 15,000
Aucuria 100,000
Azure Coast 100,000
Belmonte 60,000
Ceneria 15,000
Gapolania 15,000
Nuvania 55,000
Satavia 100,000
Satucin 450,000+
Subtotal 910,000
Continental Asteria Superior
Ardesia 210,000
Cassier 27,000
Chistovodia 10,000
Eldmark 70,000
Rizealand 80,000
Vinalia 100,000
Subtotal 497,000
Continental Coius
Atudée 90,000
Hamada 10,000
Subtotal 100,000
East Arucian Sea islands
Îles des Saints 40,000
Île d'Émeraude 40,000
Subtotal 80,000
Vehemens Ocean islands
Nouvel Anglet 90,000
St Robert's and Fleming 10,000
Subtotal 100,000
West Arucian Sea islands
Assimas Islands 2,000
Bonaventure 25,000
Carucere 45,000
Imagua 75,000
Sainte-Chloé 75,000
Subtotal 222,000
Total 1,909,000

Gowsa descendants

In some cases, this data means those who identify as being gowsa or of gowsa origin, while in other cases it is all those who have any gowsa ancestors. Complex and repeated patterns of migration and intermixture make assessing the gowsa legacy statistically difficult.

Country Number Notes
 Adamantina 100,000
 Arbolada 105,000
 Ardesia 1,500,000
 Aucuria 200,000 Self-reported, likely to be underestimate of total descendants
 Azure Coast 700,000
 Belmonte 550,000
 Bonaventure 95,000
 Carucere 315,000
 Cassier 520,000 Significant immigration from other parts of Asterias
 Ceneria 160,000
 Eldmark 1,000,000 Significant immigration from other parts of Asterias
 Estmere 1,000,000 Significant immigration from former colonies
 Gapolania 685,000
 Gaullica 1,500,000 Significant immigration from former colonies
 Île d'Émeraude 77,346
 Imagua and the Assimas 104,520 Significant emigration to other parts of Asterias
 Nuvania 400,309
 Rizealand 1,541,425
 Sainte-Chloé 300,000
 Satavia 700,000
 Satucin 2,500,000
 Vinalia 100,000
Total 14,203,600


A hearing for a repatriation appeal, Azure Coast, 1870

The conditions of transport and labour for gowsas were often very poor, both for free migrants and indentured. While circumstances were better for gowsas than for the slaves of the trans-Vehemens trade, they were still poorer than those typically experienced by Euclean migrants. Gowsa unrest was often in relation to conditions.

In the course of migration, they encountered issues such as unfamiliar diet, overcrowding, lack of clean water, lack of hygienic facilities, disease, and mistreatment from those operating or administrating ships, ports, housing and so forth. This was often exacerbated by the fact that those who were inclined to emigrate were often impoverished, and had already travelled substantial distances by the time they arrived at the seaport of departure. It is estimated that of the approximately one and a half million would-be gowsas who left ports in and around Dezevau, nearly a hundred thousand died before reaching their destination; around a twentieth. Free migrants, who paid their own way, generally had a better passage.

In the course of labour, gowsas tended to work tiring and dangerous jobs, and to be controlled by their employers, either contractually or because of the lack of realistic alternatives. Often, housing, food, timetabling, clothing and equipment were all provided by employers, creating a substantial dependency and isolation from wider society. This said, employers did not hold legal rights over gowsas in the way they did over chattel, and typically they were free to leave employment at will, or had fixed term contracts which provided for right of return. While the mobility of gowsas was often limited, it was thus that strikes, walkouts, pickets and campaigns in coordination with non-gowsas were available methods for applying pressure to improve working and living conditions.

In the 20th century, there were some requests for reparations for the past violations of the rights of gowsas, though these rarely received mainstream political attention.

Overseas Inspectors

The late Aguda Empire was petitioned by those with links to gowsas to take action on reports of poor conditions visited on its emigrants. While at first resistant to take responsibility, opposing the practice of gowsa emigration as reducing its own workforce, it dispatched a small number of Overseas Inspectors to report on the welfare of gowsas overseas and advocate for them in the late 18th century. As the Aguda Empire's domestic power withered away in favour of Saint Bermude's Company, it became more open to engaging in essentially symbolic humanitarian and diplomatic actions around the world. From the 1840s onwards, it largely ceased opposition to the practice of gowsa emigration, finding itself unable to make any serious impact, and increasingly an organ of government only maintained for show. There were several hundred active Overseas Inspectors, at least on paper, by the 19th century.

An Overseas Inspector with guests, St Robert's and Fleming, 1919

In many places, Overseas Inspectors were not recognised and/or refused entry. When they were allowed in, the impacts they had varied.

In some cases, they took on the role of community representative, especially where they were one of the few non-indentured people in a gowsa community; it was often that they had the wealth and connections to make impacts on local governance and business that gowsas themselves generally did not. Becoming closely involved with local issues, many Overseas Inspectors did not deign to maintain contact or return to the homeland.

In some other cases, they functioned as diplomatic representatives of the empire, with little engagement with local communities. Where they were received as if dignitaries or diplomats, Overseas Inspectors became as cultural or political ambassadors, or even little more than exotic hangers-on in local high society. This was a frequent outcome where local communities were inaccessible or small.

In other cases further yet, Overseas Inspectors combined representation of local communities with that of their dispatcher. This was more achievable and common in regions closer to and more familiar to the Aguda Empire.

The practice of dispatching Overseas Inspectors was carried on by some organisations and polities in the decline of the Aguda Empire, and was aided by or conducted through the Saint Bermude's Company at least on occasion. However, by the late 19th century, no more were sent abroad, with those still in action being those who had elected to stay with their communities, even without state support. The model of these Overseas Inspectors inspired later governmental systems of administration for gowsa communities in some areas.


Part of the Gowsa Collection at the University of Biunhamao

The circumstances of identity and belonging in the historical context of the Dezevauni city-states and the Aguda Empire did not fit neatly into modern conceptions of nation. While gowsas who intended to permanently emigrate would have thought of themselves as finding a new home in a new polity, as per the idea of zebiumhi, they retained cultural characteristics, and may have identified with the broader Dezevauni ethnocultural self-conception. In recent times, there has been somewhat of a revival in awareness. The ideas of identity surrounding gowsas are also significant in the conception of working class identity, as far as gowsas were distinguished not only by their ethnicity but by their class; it has been contended that like Bahian slaves, gowsas typically formed an ethno-class.


Gowsas were working class, often participating in the primary sector activities which fuelled and supplied the leading industries of the times. They were often aware of this, as well as the way in which they would be brought in to replace or threaten local labour. There were various and divergent reactions to this fact; one reaction was that gowsas clung to their position in the racial class hierarchy, above Bahians but below Eucleans. Often, this led to harsh ethnic acrimony between Bahians and gowsas. Another reaction was working class solidarity across the groups; when this occurred, capitalists and governments did their best to break it up, as organised labour was a political and economic threat. The presence (or absence) of organised labour influenced ethnic relations in generations to come, and where it came out the strongest, the incentive for bringing in gowsas was reduced; immigration did not pressure wages where even the new immigrants could easily be organised.

Much literature, music, art and other works created by gowsas and their descendants often deal with themes of liminality, migration, dislocation, belonging and shame. In particular, much of gowsa art and thought involve coming to terms with the idea of the gowsa as a scab, or traitor to solidarity on a global scale. The establishment of socialism in the gowsa homeland regions heightened thought around this idea.


The ethnic composition of the gowsas was complex. Most were considered Dezevauni Geguoni by the Aguda government, but in terms of self-identification or metrics such as customs and language, it was more complicated, given the nebulous and unsettled nature of Dezevauni ethnic identity until and through the 20th century. Most gowsas came from present day northeast Dezevau, but considerable numbers came from populations whose descendants are now considered Kachai, Kabuese, or even Ndjarendie or Kexri. It is speculated that gowsas were, on average, more integrated into Agudan culture and society, whereas more insular groups tended not to participate in zebiumhi, trust the government contract-regulatory system or have exposure to commercial networks as much. Nearly a tenth of gowsas came from the northeastern island provinces of Vidhege or Vinhumavizia (today Namayan and Kabu), not going via the Binhame Inlet ports, and thus had a somewhat outsized presence and distinctiveness, though they did not form a group independent of gowsas generally.

The situation gowsas found themselves in after migration was very different to in their homelands, with regional and class identities jumbled together. Different varieties of Ziba converged, and often replaced the various home languages of less homogeneised gowsas. Often, Coians of distant extraction were lumped in with the gowsas by colonial authorities and the general publics of their destination countries. Intermixture was common, owing to small, scattered or gender-imbalanced populations. The result was that ethnic identity was often greatly in flux for gowsas and their descendants, and in some cases, they ethnically identified themselves either as the descendants of gowsas or gowsas themselves. This development was not universal, but commonly occurred in differentiation to Eucleans and Bahian ex-slaves and their descendants, with conceptions of cultural and legal inferiority to the former and superiority to the latter. This identity would be thrown into further flux as gowsas and their descendants migrated to the developed countries of Asteria Superior (Cassier, Eldmark and Rizealand) in great numbers, where there were significant numbers of migrants from Dezevau itself, who were somewhat distinct. Gowsa ("kowsa" in Western Imaguan Creole) is recognised as an ethnic identity in Imagua and the Assimas. In some areas, the word "gowsa" is used as an ethnic slur, and may be considered offensive.

The appearance of the idea of a gowsa or gowsa-based ethnicity is significant in the study of ethnicisation, as a recent, robust, well-documented example of ethnogenesis.


Virtually all gowsas spoke some variety of Ziba, which was the official language of the Aguda Empire. Gowsas generally came from the relatively densely populated, integrated areas of the empire where the use of Ziba was prevalent, even if its usage was mainly in the public sphere, and populations maintained local native languages. As gowsas came from all over the empire, however, they came to speak Ziba with each other, and in some cases preserved the use of this language in the colonies (though in others, they lost Ziba and adopted the local colonial language or creole).

Migration often put together those from opposite ends of the Ziba dialect continuum, with the result that people who spoke Ziba nonetheless could not communicate easily. Dialects levelled out, with Doboadane varieties becoming dominant (though with significant influence from Central and Southwestern varieties, which standardised Agudan Ziba, was based on). Innovations, however, did occur, and the Ziba varieties that arose in the Asterias are known as Asterian Ziba today, and have had some impacts (mainly lexical) on Ziba in Dezevau. Carucerean Ziba is notably a recognised language in Carucere, being the most widely spoken variety of Asterian Ziba.

A redecorated Badi shrine in Cassier


The gowsas were, to begin with, overwhelmingly Badists, as they originated mainly from the core regions of the Aguda Empire. They brought their beliefs with them in migration, along with other aspects of cultural identity, and it was common for gowsa-populated plantations to have a small interelemental temple for its workers. Badi helped the migrants to make sense of and become comfortable with their environments, which could vary a little or greatly from their native locales. Snowfall and ice were foreign to most gowsas, and in areas where they occurred, it was not uncommon for there to be a focus on the theological element of Water, with the rapid development of new mysteries and lore.

A significant number of gowsas were also Irfanic, or as missionary work in Dezevau intensified, Sotirian. The most significant denomination was that of Gaullica, the Sotirian Catholic Church, but there was also a notable presence of the Episemialist Church and non-denominationals. For non-Badist gowsas, their choice of destination often considered whether their religion was practiced in their destination, when they had the agency to make these choices. Religion likely influenced, additionally, the decision of many gowsas to stay or return home; living in a religious community which incorporated them as part of the dominant majority was an appealing prospect, though economic concerns were the main drivers of decisionmaking.

Many gowsas, as is common for emigrants regardless of their prior beliefs, converted to religions found in the places they had migrated to. In some cases, churches formed which largely catered to these converts and their descendants, sometimes possessing distinct and unique practices which give clues as to their history.

Impact on migratory destinations


A depiction of a multiethnic workforce building railways in Cassier

Gowsas were a source of labour, primarily manual, for the destinations they migrated to. They filled in the need for a workforce in industries ranging from plantation cropping to construction to mining, and were associated with economic booms. Their mobility was significant in the nature of their labour. For example, many were present during gold rushes, as well as in plantation economies soon after the abolition of slavery. In Cassier, they were particularly significant in the construction of transcontinental railways from the 1870s onwards. Where climate and socioeconomic conditions allowed, some gowsas set up their own farms, based on the geguonhi system they were familiar with; many of these establishments still exist, and are significant in local food supply, functioning as market gardens.

The greatest number worked in plantations, producing cash crops for export in tropical colonies in response to the end of slavery; Satucin, a colony of Gaullica during the gowsa era, is the greatest example of this. Their involvement with important commodities such as cotton, sugar and tropical woods made them economically significant in ways that was not usual for such recent migrants, somewhat reflected in the historical significance given to their labour activism.

In particular, gowsas' role in keeping labour costs low, while bringing expertise in the expansion of plantations (as far as many cash crops were familiar to them) gave them an outsized importance in maintaining early modern capitalist systems. Some scholars also contend that their consumptive habits (tea, coffee, and other stimulants, as opposed to alcohol) also affected the productivity of economies when they spread to non-gowsas.

Throughout the 20th century, gowsas and their descendants' regional connections and economic diversification placed them on an equal footing with other inhabitants of the places they lived. Most countries do not see a systematic difference in wealth between those who are descended from gowsas and not. On the other hand, countries with larger populations of gowsas are generally more prosperous; it is thought that this is the result of gowsa remigration to more economically successful places from the old extractive and plantation economies.

Race rioting in Eldmark at the beginning of the 20th century


Racial or ethnic tensions sometimes arose, either between different groups of gowsas (who might have come from different cities in Dezevau) or between gowsas and other groups. At times, Bahian ex-slaves were hostile as they were seen to be depressing wages and making it impossible to place pressure on employers, and racial supremacy caused hostility at other times, in regards of Euclean groups. Gowsas were generally perceived as superior to Bahian ex-slaves and their descendants. However, admixture often went a considerable way to bridging these gaps. Developments in the idea of working class solidarity across racial lines, often with the involvement of socialists, also helped bring groups together, and often seriously impeded the efforts of local authorities and magnates to suppress the demands of labour. Gowsas, both returned and permanently emigrant, often found themselves alienated from traditional structures, and frequently had strong involvement with socialist movements. Their importance in producing the internationally traded feedstock of industry meant that emphasis was placed on their labour activism, both by those in support of it and those opposing. The Dezevauni Section of the Workers' International had some involvement with gowsas outside Dezevau, and received overseas support in the form of remittances and statements, but its operation was mainly domestic and involving returned gowsas.


Gowsas brought their culture and customs with them. They changed the religious makeup of the places they went, influenced cuisine and substance use, introduced linguistic features, changed class and race relations, modified local custom and developed innovations. Badi and the Ziba language are just two important examples of this. Ganomes were introduced to the Asterias, in particular Eldmark, in great part through gowsa migration (and remigration), and have become culinary and community fixtures to some extent.

Impact on Dezevau

A subcommittee of the Dezevauni Section of the Workers' International, primarily comprised of returned gowsas, discussing health policy

The gowsa phenomenon both boosted the Dezevauni economy and weakened it; gowsas who returned or sent remittances contributed considerably to the colonial economic activity, but their emigration also deprived it of its population of working, fighting and childbearing age. Some scholars contend that gowsa emigration contributed significantly to the colonial impoverishment of the Doboadane basin region, while others disagree, suggesting that the impoverishment created the gowsa outflow. It is not certain whether most gowsas came from the Doboadane region, or if they merely transited through it, even in contemporary scholarship. It is generally accepted that emigration had a negative macroeconomic effect at the time, but that the effects of returnees and international links with a diaspora ultimately benefitted Dezevau in the long run.

Returned gowsas often played an important role in Dezevau. They brought back new experiences, ideas and skills with them, in addition to wealth, diseases, families, species and chattels. This large scale population movement changed the country in some ways that had not occurred before, despite substantial colonisation. Many shifts in cultivation patterns, diets and health have been traced back to returned gowsas as the root cause. For instance, many of the best varieties of potatoes for the Dezevauni soils and climate were introduced from Aucuria in Asteria Inferior by returning gowsas. In the State of Désébau (established 1889) they were often noted for social mobility and agitation, which led to ineffective suppressive efforts. In the Dezevauni Section of the Workers' International, much to do with proletarian internationalism was influenced or handled by returned gowsas. It was not until well after Dezevauni independence that their presence in society faded as the generation aged away, though many Dezevauni today still trace their family history back to gowsas.

Notable gowsas and descendants of gowsas

See also