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 India's African communities

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Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 8069
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

MessageIndia's African communities


Compared to the fate of Africans taken as slaves to the New World, the history of Africans in India is still largely unknown.

There are small communities like Jambur scattered along India's west coast. They are the home to the descendants of Africans who were brought to the subcontinent as slaves. Many others travelled as mercenaries, merchants and sailors.

Sea trade between east and southern Africa, and Gujarat in India was established more than 2,000 years ago.

Some historians think millions of Africans crossed the ocean.

The African-Indians are called Sidis.

One of the strongest remaining links they have to their roots is the damaal or drum. Otherwise Sidi culture is not significantly different to that of other poor, rural Indians.

"The damaal comes from Africa," explains Yunus, a blind man who is the chief drummer of Jambur. "The skill of playing has been passed down from father to son. It is a gift from God," he says.

Every evening Yunus leads Jambur's musicians and dancers to a shrine outside the village.

Like most Sidis, the people of Jambur are Sufi Muslims, who believe God is worshipped through song and dance.

Anthropologists believe the dancers' ecstatic performances are a combination of traditional African worship and Indian Sufi practices.

Pilgrims give money to the village's musicians.

This dancer stuffs the bank notes in his mouth.


Sidis and Indian Muslims come from hundreds of kilometres away to worship at the shrine at Jambur.

Some hope for miracles.

Women who are unable to conceive are brought here to be cured of infertility. Families who believe their sons have been possessed by evil spirits think they can be cured of mental illness.


The shrine in Jambur houses the tomb of a saint known as Nagarchi Baba - Drum Master.

The Sidis say he was an Arab who visited Africa some 900 years ago, before settling in India.

The Sidis also worship another Sufi saint at the shrine, known as Bava Gor, a Nigerian bead merchant.

The priests are possessed by the spirits of the saints and bless the worshippers.


Jambur is an impoverished village. The people work as labourers for neighbouring farmers. They also receive help from the government under an affirmative action programme for poor communities.

Jambur was settled by the families of Sidi soldiers of the former ruler, or Nawab, of the area.

Many of India's kings and princes recruited Africans as their personal bodyguards, servants and musicians. In some parts of the country Sidis even rose to be powerful generals or kings themselves.


Hassan Bhai says his forefathers came from Mozambique to serve in Portugal's colonial army which controlled a nearby port. But most Sidis have little idea of where their families came from.

"The children don't know anything about Africa because those who knew about Africa have died," Hassan says.
Some, like this young man who has joined the dancers, are brought in chains, which have cut his wrists.

Le Mensonge peut courir un an, la vérité le rattrape en un jour, dit le sage Haoussa
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India's African communities :: Commentaires

Re: India's African communities
Message le Lun 23 Jan - 6:29 par maria0033
C'est interessant de trouver comme ce genre de postes.
voyance gratuite

India's African communities

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