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The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent (Article)

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  • multiracialbookclub
    The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent by Zachariah Cherian Mampilly http://www.the-south-asian.com
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 30, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      The African Diaspora of

      the Indian Sub-Continent

      by 

      Zachariah Cherian Mampilly
      http://www.the-south-asian.com

       Sidis-woman_and_child.jpg (7657 bytes) sidis-womenwithfish.jpg (7961 bytes)
      Sidi mother and child; Sidi fisherwomen

      The term Indo-Africans refers to Indians of African
      origin and was
      coined by Professor Abdulaziz
      Lodhi of Uppsala University , Sweden ...
       

      A study of this Indo-African population offers a realistic
      portrayal of Africans as traders, warriors, and sailors ...

      More than 250,000 descendants of
      Africans still live amongst the
      Indian people.

      They are a vast and diverse population spread

      throughout India with separate histories
      and unique roles within the
      Indian strata.

      Although Africans have been crossing the Indian Ocean
      into
      India for over a millennium, most of those who make up the

      Indo-African population came in the past five hundred years ...

      The present-day

      Indo-Africans trace their ancestry primarily from the East African
      coast from Sudan , Abyssinia (now Ethiopia ) to Mozambique ,
      but some came from as far off as South Africa and even Nigeria .

      Little research has been done on this unique population,
      but slowly literature on this small group is growing.

      Many of the Indo-Africans who arrived from eastern Africa
      came as sailors and traders engaged in the vibrant Indian
      ocean trade and stayed on in India , usually around the
      main ports, from Kerala in the south to Gujarat in the north.

      The monsoon winds that blew across the Indian ocean
      powered an extensive trade system that shipped spices
      from Kerala through Northeast Africa and on
      to Rome and other parts of the European
      continent since before the time of Christ.

      Ivory, gold and other valuables from Zimbabwe and the
      Congo found their way to the East African coast to areas
      such as Kilwa, Mombassa and Zanzibar from where they
      were further shipped across the Indian Ocean and
      on to India , Southeast Asia , China and even Japan .

      Perhaps the most interesting example of Indo-Africans
      in Indian history was the establishment of the Habshi
      State in Bengal   during the 15th century ...

      Another group of Indo-Africans, known as the Shemali,
      originated in Kano , Nigeria , and came to India via
      Sudan and Mecca following their Hajj pilgrimage.

      Under the leadership of a wealthy merchant known as
      Baba Ghor, the Shemali became prosperous through
      the mining and trade of the precious stone Agate.

      This group of Indo-Africans retains quite a few
      African customs, and Baba Ghor and the story
      of their arrival in India is proudly remembered.

      It is difficult to speak of the Indo-Africans as a
      singular group as they came from vastly different
      parts of Africa and through many periods of history.

      Nonetheless, most of the groups have
      largely assimilated into Indian society.

      The majority of Indo-Africans are Muslims,
      but other similarities are hard to find.

      Different communities speak different languages and
      culturally most consider themselves Indian
      save for a few African cultural remnants.

      Some Indo-Africans, descended from powerful soldiers,
      administrators, and even rulers, are indistinguishable
      from the general population, for their ancestors
      were considered higher class and married
      freely amongst the elite Indian population.

      This group of Indo-Africans are
      sometimes known as the Royal Sidis ..

      Sidis

      There are identifiable Sidi communities in Gujarat,
      Maharashtra (around Bombay ), and Hyderabad .

      Most of the Sidis live in Gujarat, a state in western India .
      Jambur, a village in the Gir forest is an exclusive Sidi settlement. 

      A smaller group of Sidis lives in
      Junagadh, a town not far from Jambur.

      Sidis also settled in Murud, once the capital of the
      erstwhile state of Janjira (from the Arabic `jazirah'
      meaning an island) on the western coast of Maharashtra .

      The Janjira Fort at Murad was "once the stronghold of
      Abyssinian Sidis, who played an important role in the
      history of Bombay in the latter half of the 17th century".

      Those Sidis who settled in Janjira
      prospered as warriors and great sailors.

      Their fort still stands today in Murud – a small fishing village
      – as does the Sidi Palace on the outskirts of the village.

      Though the interior of the palace is
      not open to tourists, the fort can be visited.

      "Once the fort
      boasted of five hundred canons, today only
      a handful are left, still
      intact and able to tell their story.

      Amongst them are the three major
      cannons, Kalal Bangdi,
      Landakasam and Bhavani, the cherished weapons
      of
      the Sidis, built from five metals."- Discover India

      "Siddi kingdoms were established in western
      India in Janjira and Jaffrabad as early as 1100 AD.

      After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of
      India , originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called
      themselves Sayyad and were consequently called Siddis.

      Indeed, the island Janjira was formerly called Habshan,
      meaning Habshan's or African's land. Siddi signifies lord or prince.

      It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful
      address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India .

      Specifically, it is said to be an honorific title given to the descendants
      of African natives in the west of India , some of whom were distinguished
      military officers and administrators of the Muslim princes of the Deccan . …

      The Siddis were employed largely as security forces ...
      in the Indian Ocean , a position they maintained for centuries."
      -
      Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
      HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

      Scholars generally consider the Indo-Africans de
      facto Indians as
      they mostly speak Indian languages,
      although some groups do retain
      many African words.

      This process of assimilation was interrupted
      with the

      advent of British rule in India in the 19th century
      .

      The
      British segregated the Indo-Africans from the local

      population, thus
      impoverishing the process of assimilation.

      Today, except for the Royal Sidis and their
      descendants
      who are largely integrated,
      the Indo-African population
      remains largely farmers or
      unskilled workers, although
      some have also become professionals such
      as
      doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen.

      In Pakistan , which also has a small Indo-African
      population,
      Indo-Africans are substantially
      more visible as performers and
      athletes.

      The community, known as Makranis, is almost completely
      centred in the
      coastal city of Karachi and has achieved

      national status as athletes, especially as boxers,
      a field in which
      Indo-Africans have represented
      Pakistan in international
      competition.

      India has always welcomed immigrants from
      around the
      world, giving them acceptance
      and taking from them certain cultural
      attributes
      that have further enlarged the Indian mosaic.

      Afro-Indians, like all other groups that sought
      shelter in India , were
      given the freedom
      to assimilate without the pressure
      to lose their
      ancestral traditions.

      However one views Afro-Indians, their mere
      existence has much to tell
      us about Africa 's
      place in the world community beyond
      just the dark
      days of slavery.

      Their history speaks of the African ability to
      integrate
      into a land other than that from where they
      originated.

      The African Diaspora in the Americas
      was an
      unwilling one,
      but the Indo-Africans came
      willingly to
      India , and regardless of their

      ups and downs in Indian history,

      they have chosen to stay there.

      Prominent Indo-Africans in history of India

      Jamal al-Din Yaqut -  a royal courtier in the kingdom
      of Delhi who was believed to be close to the then
      reigning sovereign Queen
      Raziya (1236- 1240).

      He was killed by jealous rivals.

      Ibn Battuta recalls that at Alapur, north of Delhi,
      the governor was "the Abyssinian Badr...,
      a man
      whose bravery passed into a proverb".

      Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi,
      was appointed 
      governor of Jaunpur. 

      Mubarak Shah, his son, later succeeded him.  

      Ibrahim Shah, succeeded his brother
      Mubarak Shah, and ruled for forty years.

      "..the most famous among the Indo-Africans
      was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626).

      Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India ,
      elevated himself to a position of great authority.

      Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu,
      was born around 1550 in Harar , Ethiopia .

      After his arrival in India , Ambar was able to raise
      a formidable army and achieve great power
      in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar.

      Ambar was a brilliant diplomat and administrator.
      "
      Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
      HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

      Habshis ruled Bengal 1486-1491
      by overthrowing the ruler Jalal-al Din.
      Sultan Shahzada 1486 -1487
      Habshi Amir al-Umara (1487-1490)
      Habash Khan
      Sidi Badr 

      SOURCE:

      http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_Diaspora.htm
      http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora2.htm

      http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora3.htm 

    • tlbaker
      Is it also true that Africans migrated to India in the same way they migrated to Europe and other parts of the world several thousands of years ago? Lynne
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 31, 2007
      • 0 Attachment

        Is it also true that Africans migrated to India
        in the same way they migrated to Europe and other
        parts of the world several thousands of years ago?

         

        Lynne

         


        From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        On Behalf Of multiracialbookclub
        Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 10:35 PM
        To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent (Article)

         

        The African Diaspora of

        the Indian Sub-Continent

        by 

        Zachariah Cherian Mampilly
        http://www.the-south-asian.com

         Sidis-woman_and_child.jpg (7657 bytes) sidis-womenwithfish.jpg (7961 bytes)
        Sidi mother and child; Sidi fisherwomen

        The term Indo-Africans refers to Indians of African
        origin and was
        coined by Professor Abdulaziz
        Lodhi of Uppsala University , Sweden ...
         

        A study of this Indo-African population offers a realistic
        portrayal of Africans as traders, warriors, and sailors ...

        More than 250,000 descendants of
        Africans still live amongst the
        Indian people.

        They are a vast and diverse population spread

        throughout India with separate histories
        and unique roles within the
        Indian strata.

        Although Africans have been crossing the Indian Ocean
        into
        India for over a millennium, most of those who make up the

        Indo-African population came in the past five hundred years ...

        The present-day

        Indo-Africans trace their ancestry primarily from the East African
        coast from Sudan , Abyssinia (now Ethiopia ) to Mozambique ,
        but some came from as far off as South Africa and even Nigeria .

        Little research has been done on this unique population,
        but slowly literature on this small group is growing.

        Many of the Indo-Africans who arrived from eastern Africa
        came as sailors and traders engaged in the vibrant Indian
        ocean trade and stayed on in India , usually around the
        main ports, from Kerala in the south to Gujarat in the north.

        The monsoon winds that blew across the Indian ocean
        powered an extensive trade system that shipped spices
        from Kerala through Northeast Africa and on
        to Rome and other parts of the European
        continent since before the time of Christ.

        Ivory, gold and other valuables from Zimbabwe and the
        Congo found their way to the East African coast to areas
        such as Kilwa, Mombassa and Zanzibar from where they
        were further shipped across the Indian Ocean and
        on to India , Southeast Asia , China and even Japan .

        Perhaps the most interesting example of Indo-Africans
        in Indian history was the establishment of the Habshi
        State in Bengal   during the 15th century ...

        Another group of Indo-Africans, known as the Shemali,
        originated in Kano , Nigeria , and came to India via
        Sudan and Mecca following their Hajj pilgrimage.

        Under the leadership of a wealthy merchant known as
        Baba Ghor, the Shemali became prosperous through
        the mining and trade of the precious stone Agate.

        This group of Indo-Africans retains quite a few
        African customs, and Baba Ghor and the story
        of their arrival in India is proudly remembered.

        It is difficult to speak of the Indo-Africans as a
        singular group as they came from vastly different
        parts of Africa and through many periods of history.

        Nonetheless, most of the groups have
        largely assimilated into Indian society.

        The majority of Indo-Africans are Muslims,
        but other similarities are hard to find.

        Different communities speak different languages and
        culturally most consider themselves Indian
        save for a few African cultural remnants.

        Some Indo-Africans, descended from powerful soldiers,
        administrators, and even rulers, are indistinguishable
        from the general population, for their ancestors
        were considered higher class and married
        freely amongst the elite Indian population.

        This group of Indo-Africans are
        sometimes known as the Royal Sidis ..

        Sidis

        There are identifiable Sidi communities in Gujarat,
        Maharashtra (around Bombay ), and Hyderabad .

        Most of the Sidis live in Gujarat, a state in western India .
        Jambur, a village in the Gir forest is an exclusive Sidi settlement. 

        A smaller group of Sidis lives in
        Junagadh, a town not far from Jambur.

        Sidis also settled in Murud, once the capital of the
        erstwhile state of Janjira (from the Arabic `jazirah'
        meaning an island) on the western coast of Maharashtra .

        The Janjira Fort at Murad was "once the stronghold of
        Abyssinian Sidis, who played an important role in the
        history of Bombay in the latter half of the 17th century".

        Those Sidis who settled in Janjira
        prospered as warriors and great sailors.

        Their fort still stands today in Murud – a small fishing village
        – as does the Sidi Palace on the outskirts of the village.

        Though the interior of the palace is
        not open to tourists, the fort can be visited.

        "Once the fort
        boasted of five hundred canons, today only
        a handful are left, still
        intact and able to tell their story.

        Amongst them are the three major
        cannons, Kalal Bangdi,
        Landakasam and Bhavani, the cherished weapons
        of
        the Sidis, built from five metals."- Discover India

        "Siddi kingdoms were established in western
        India in Janjira and Jaffrabad as early as 1100 AD.

        After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of
        India , originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called
        themselves Sayyad and were consequently called Siddis.

        Indeed, the island Janjira was formerly called Habshan,
        meaning Habshan's or African's land. Siddi signifies lord or prince.

        It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful
        address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India .

        Specifically, it is said to be an honorific title given to the descendants
        of African natives in the west of India , some of whom were distinguished
        military officers and administrators of the Muslim princes of the Deccan . …

        The Siddis were employed largely as security forces ...
        in the Indian Ocean , a position they maintained for centuries."
        - Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
        HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

        Scholars generally consider the Indo-Africans de
        facto Indians as
        they mostly speak Indian languages,
        although some groups do retain
        many African words.

        This process of assimilation was interrupted
        with the
        advent of British rule in India in the 19th century.

        The
        British segregated the Indo-Africans from the local
        population, thus impoverishing the process of assimilation.

        Today, except for the Royal Sidis and their
        descendants
        who are largely integrated,
        the Indo-African population
        remains largely farmers or
        unskilled workers, although
        some have also become professionals such
        as
        doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen.


        In Pakistan , which also has a small Indo-African
        population,
        Indo-Africans are substantially
        more visible as performers and
        athletes.

        The community, known as Makranis, is almost completely
        centred in the
        coastal city of Karachi and has achieved
        national status as athletes, especially as boxers,
        a field in which
        Indo-Africans have represented
        Pakistan in international
        competition.

        India has always welcomed immigrants from
        around the
        world, giving them acceptance
        and taking from them certain cultural
        attributes
        that have further enlarged the Indian mosaic.

        Afro-Indians, like all other groups that sought
        shelter in India , were
        given the freedom
        to assimilate without the pressure
        to lose their
        ancestral traditions.

        However one views Afro-Indians, their mere
        existence has much to tell
        us about Africa 's
        place in the world community beyond
        just the dark
        days of slavery.

        Their history speaks of the African ability to
        integrate
        into a land other than that from where they
        originated.

        The African Diaspora in the Americas
        was an
        unwilling one,
        but the Indo-Africans came
        willingly to
        India , and regardless of their
        ups and downs in Indian history,
        they have chosen to stay there.

        Prominent Indo-Africans in history of India

        Jamal al-Din Yaqut -  a royal courtier in the kingdom
        of Delhi who was believed to be close to the then
        reigning sovereign Queen
        Raziya (1236- 1240).

        He was killed by jealous rivals.

        Ibn Battuta recalls that at Alapur, north of Delhi ,
        the governor was "the Abyssinian Badr...,
        a man
        whose bravery passed into a proverb".

        Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi,
        was appointed 
        governor of Jaunpur. 

        Mubarak Shah, his son, later succeeded him.  

        Ibrahim Shah, succeeded his brother
        Mubarak Shah, and ruled for forty years.


        "..the most famous among the Indo-Africans
        was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626).

        Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India ,
        elevated himself to a position of great authority.

        Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu,
        was born around 1550 in Harar , Ethiopia .

        After his arrival in India , Ambar was able to raise
        a formidable army and achieve great power
        in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar.

        Ambar was a brilliant diplomat and administrator.
        " Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
        HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

        Habshis ruled Bengal 1486-1491
        by overthrowing the ruler Jalal-al Din.
        Sultan Shahzada 1486 -1487
        Habshi Amir al-Umara (1487-1490)
        Habash Khan
        Sidi Badr 

        SOURCE:

        http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_Diaspora.htm
        http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora2.htm
        http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora3.htm 

      • Danielle Sigwalt
        Wow! When I was 13 -- about 7 years ago -- I met a community of Sidis in India. My parents study the african diaspora, and they took me a long with them while
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 31, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Wow! When I was 13 -- about 7 years ago
          -- I met a community of Sidis in India.
          My parents study the african diaspora, and they took
          me a long with them while they were doing research.
          It's actually really interested because where as they have
          been able to maintain a unique ethnic status seperate from
          those who live among them, they are culturally very
          Indian, from what I understand, and experienced.

          It's unlikely that they traveled there thousands of years
          ago, Lynne, simply because of the pre-existing migratory
          patterns of the Africans from the areas that they
          came from, in the case of the Sidis, at least.
          Also, had they been there for that long, it's unlikely
          that their communitis would still exist in a visible way.



          On 1/31/07, tlbaker <tlbaker@...> wrote:



          Is it also true that Africans migrated to India
          in the same way they migrated to Europe and other
          parts of the world several thousands of years ago?

           

          Lynne



           


          From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
          On Behalf Of multiracialbookclub
          Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 10:35 PM
          To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent (Article)

           

          The African Diaspora of

          the Indian Sub-Continent

          Zachariah Cherian Mampilly
          http://www.the-south-asian.com

           

          Sidi mother and child;
          Sidi fisherwomen

          The term Indo-Africans refers to Indians of African
          origin and was
          coined by Professor Abdulaziz
          Lodhi of Uppsala University, Sweden ...
           

          A study of this Indo-African population offers a realistic
          portrayal of Africans as traders, warriors, and sailors ...

          More than 250,000 descendants of
          Africans still live amongst the
          Indian people.

          They are a vast and diverse population spread

          throughout India with separate histories
          and unique roles within the
          Indian strata.

          Although Africans have been crossing the Indian Ocean
          into
          India for over a millennium, most of those who make up the

          Indo-African population came in the past five hundred years ...

          The present-day

          Indo-Africans trace their ancestry primarily from the East African
          coast from Sudan, Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) to Mozambique,
          but some came from as far off as South Africa and even Nigeria.

          Little research has been done on this unique population,
          but slowly literature on this small group is growing.

          Many of the Indo-Africans who arrived from eastern Africa
          came as sailors and traders engaged in the vibrant Indian
          ocean trade and stayed on in India, usually around the
          main ports, from Kerala in the south to Gujarat in the north.

          The monsoon winds that blew across the Indian ocean
          powered an extensive trade system that shipped spices
          from Kerala through Northeast Africa and on
          to Rome and other parts of the European
          continent since before the time of Christ.

          Ivory, gold and other valuables from Zimbabwe and the
          Congo found their way to the East African coast to areas
          such as Kilwa, Mombassa and Zanzibar from where they
          were further shipped across the Indian Ocean and
          on to India, Southeast Asia, China and even Japan.

          Perhaps the most interesting example of Indo-Africans
          in Indian history was the establishment of the Habshi
          State in Bengal  during the 15th century ...

          Another group of Indo-Africans, known as the Shemali,
          originated in Kano, Nigeria, and came to India via
          Sudan and Mecca following their Hajj pilgrimage.

          Under the leadership of a wealthy merchant known as
          Baba Ghor, the Shemali became prosperous through
          the mining and trade of the precious stone Agate.

          This group of Indo-Africans retains quite a few
          African customs, and Baba Ghor and the story
          of their arrival in India is proudly remembered.

          It is difficult to speak of the Indo-Africans as a
          singular group as they came from vastly different
          parts of Africa and through many periods of history.

          Nonetheless, most of the groups have
          largely assimilated into Indian society.

          The majority of Indo-Africans are Muslims,
          but other similarities are hard to find.

          Different communities speak different languages and
          culturally most consider themselves Indian
          save for a few African cultural remnants.

          Some Indo-Africans, descended from powerful soldiers,
          administrators, and even rulers, are indistinguishable
          from the general population, for their ancestors
          were considered higher class and married
          freely amongst the elite Indian population.

          This group of Indo-Africans are
          sometimes known as the Royal Sidis ..

          Sidis

          There are identifiable Sidi communities in Gujarat,
          Maharashtra (around Bombay), and Hyderabad.

          Most of the Sidis live in Gujarat, a state in western India.
          Jambur, a village in the Gir forest is an exclusive Sidi settlement. 

          A smaller group of Sidis lives in
          Junagadh, a town not far from Jambur.

          Sidis also settled in Murud, once the capital of the
          erstwhile state of Janjira (from the Arabic `jazirah'
          meaning an island) on the western coast of Maharashtra.

          The Janjira Fort at Murad was "once the stronghold of
          Abyssinian Sidis, who played an important role in the
          history of Bombay in the latter half of the 17th century".

          Those Sidis who settled in Janjira
          prospered as warriors and great sailors.

          Their fort still stands today in Murud – a small fishing village
          – as does the Sidi Palace on the outskirts of the village.

          Though the interior of the palace is
          not open to tourists, the fort can be visited.

          "Once the fort
          boasted of five hundred canons, today only
          a handful are left, still
          intact and able to tell their story.

          Amongst them are the three major
          cannons, Kalal Bangdi,
          Landakasam and Bhavani, the cherished weapons
          of
          the Sidis, built from five metals."- Discover India

          "Siddi kingdoms were established in western
          India in Janjira and Jaffrabad as early as 1100 AD.

          After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of
          India, originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called
          themselves Sayyad and were consequently called Siddis.

          Indeed, the island Janjira was formerly called Habshan,
          meaning Habshan's or African's land. Siddi signifies lord or prince.

          It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful
          address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India.

          Specifically, it is said to be an honorific title given to the descendants
          of African natives in the west of India, some of whom were distinguished
          military officers and administrators of the Muslim princes of the Deccan. …

          The Siddis were employed largely as security forces ...
          in the Indian Ocean, a position they maintained for centuries."
          - Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
          HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

          Scholars generally consider the Indo-Africans de
          facto Indians as
          they mostly speak Indian languages,
          although some groups do retain
          many African words.

          This process of assimilation was interrupted
          with the
          advent of British rule in India in the 19th century.

          The
          British segregated the Indo-Africans from the local
          population, thus impoverishing the process of assimilation.

          Today, except for the Royal Sidis and their
          descendants
          who are largely integrated,
          the Indo-African population
          remains largely farmers or
          unskilled workers, although
          some have also become professionals such
          as
          doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen.


          In Pakistan, which also has a small Indo-African
          population,
          Indo-Africans are substantially
          more visible as performers and
          athletes.

          The community, known as Makranis, is almost completely
          centred in the
          coastal city of Karachi and has achieved
          national status as athletes, especially as boxers,
          a field in which
          Indo-Africans have represented
          Pakistan in international
          competition.

          India has always welcomed immigrants from
          around the
          world, giving them acceptance
          and taking from them certain cultural
          attributes
          that have further enlarged the Indian mosaic.

          Afro-Indians, like all other groups that sought
          shelter in India, were
          given the freedom
          to assimilate without the pressure
          to lose their
          ancestral traditions.

          However one views Afro-Indians, their mere
          existence has much to tell
          us about Africa's
          place in the world community beyond
          just the dark
          days of slavery.

          Their history speaks of the African ability to
          integrate
          into a land other than that from where they
          originated.

          The African Diaspora in the Americas
          was an
          unwilling one,
          but the Indo-Africans came
          willingly to
          India , and regardless of their
          ups and downs in Indian history,
          they have chosen to stay there.

          Prominent Indo-Africans in history of India

          Jamal al-Din Yaqut -  a royal courtier in the kingdom
          of Delhi who was believed to be close to the then
          reigning sovereign Queen
          Raziya (1236- 1240).

          He was killed by jealous rivals.

          Ibn Battuta recalls that at Alapur, north of Delhi ,
          the governor was "the Abyssinian Badr...,
          a man
          whose bravery passed into a proverb".

          Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi,
          was appointed 
          governor of Jaunpur. 

          Mubarak Shah, his son, later succeeded him.  

          Ibrahim Shah, succeeded his brother
          Mubarak Shah, and ruled for forty years.


          "..the most famous among the Indo-Africans
          was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626).

          Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India,
          elevated himself to a position of great authority.

          Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu,
          was born around 1550 in Harar, Ethiopia.

          After his arrival in India, Ambar was able to raise
          a formidable army and achieve great power
          in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar.

          Ambar was a brilliant diplomat and administrator.
          " Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
          HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

          Habshis ruled Bengal 1486-1491
          by overthrowing the ruler Jalal-al Din.
          Sultan Shahzada 1486 -1487
          Habshi Amir al-Umara (1487-1490)
          Habash Khan
          Sidi Badr 

          SOURCE:

          http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_Diaspora.htm
          http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora2.htm
          http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora3.htm  




          --
          "I've had something to say as long as I've
          known there was somthing that needed improving, and
          every step I take is a woman's movement"
          "why can't every decent woman call herself a feminist,
          if just out of respect for those who fought before her?"
          -Ani DiFranco
        • tlbaker
          http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/ancientamerica.htm _____ From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com On Behalf Of Danielle Sigwalt Sent: Wednesday,
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 2007
          • 0 Attachment

            http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/ancientamerica.htm

             


            From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            On Behalf Of Danielle Sigwalt
            Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:10 PM
            To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent (Article)

             

            Wow! When I was 13 -- about 7 years ago
            -- I met a community of Sidis in India .
            My parents study the african diaspora, and they took
            me a long with them while they were doing research.
            It's actually really interested because where as they have
            been able to maintain a unique ethnic status seperate from
            those who live among them, they are culturally very
            Indian, from what I understand, and experienced.

            It's unlikely that they traveled there thousands of years
            ago, Lynne, simply because of the pre-existing migratory
            patterns of the Africans from the areas that they
            came from, in the case of the Sidis, at least.
            Also, had they been there for that long, it's unlikely
            that their communitis would still exist in a visible way.


            On 1/31/07, tlbaker <tlbaker@...> wrote:



            Is it also true that Africans migrated to India
            in the same way they migrated to Europe and other
            parts of the world several thousands of years ago?

             

            Lynne

             

             


            From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            On Behalf Of multiracialbookclub
            Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 10:35 PM
            To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: The African Diaspora of the Indian Sub-Continent (Article)

             

            The African Diaspora of

            the Indian Sub-Continent

            Zachariah Cherian Mampilly
            http://www.the-south-asian.com

             

            Sidi mother and child;
            Sidi fisherwomen

            The term Indo-Africans refers to Indians of African
            origin and was coined by Professor Abdulaziz
            Lodhi of Uppsala University , Sweden ...  

            A study of this Indo-African population offers a realistic
            portrayal of Africans as traders, warriors, and sailors ...

            More than 250,000 descendants of
            Africans still live amongst the
            Indian people.

            They are a vast and diverse population spread
            throughout India with separate histories
            and unique roles within the Indian strata.

            Although Africans have been crossing the Indian Ocean
            into
            India for over a millennium, most of those who make up the

            Indo-African population came in the past five hundred years ...

            The present-day

            Indo-Africans trace their ancestry primarily from the East African
            coast from Sudan , Abyssinia (now Ethiopia ) to Mozambique ,
            but some came from as far off as South Africa and even Nigeria .

            Little research has been done on this unique population,
            but slowly literature on this small group is growing.

            Many of the Indo-Africans who arrived from eastern Africa
            came as sailors and traders engaged in the vibrant Indian
            ocean trade and stayed on in India , usually around the
            main ports, from Kerala in the south to Gujarat in the north.

            The monsoon winds that blew across the Indian ocean
            powered an extensive trade system that shipped spices
            from Kerala through Northeast Africa and on
            to Rome and other parts of the European
            continent since before the time of Christ.

            Ivory, gold and other valuables from Zimbabwe and the
            Congo found their way to the East African coast to areas
            such as Kilwa, Mombassa and Zanzibar from where they
            were further shipped across the Indian Ocean and
            on to India , Southeast Asia , China and even Japan .

            Perhaps the most interesting example of Indo-Africans
            in Indian history was the establishment of the Habshi
            State in Bengal  during the 15th century ...

            Another group of Indo-Africans, known as the Shemali,
            originated in Kano , Nigeria , and came to India via
            Sudan and Mecca following their Hajj pilgrimage.

            Under the leadership of a wealthy merchant known as
            Baba Ghor, the Shemali became prosperous through
            the mining and trade of the precious stone Agate.

            This group of Indo-Africans retains quite a few
            African customs, and Baba Ghor and the story
            of their arrival in India is proudly remembered.

            It is difficult to speak of the Indo-Africans as a
            singular group as they came from vastly different
            parts of Africa and through many periods of history.

            Nonetheless, most of the groups have
            largely assimilated into Indian society.

            The majority of Indo-Africans are Muslims,
            but other similarities are hard to find.

            Different communities speak different languages and
            culturally most consider themselves Indian
            save for a few African cultural remnants.

            Some Indo-Africans, descended from powerful soldiers,
            administrators, and even rulers, are indistinguishable
            from the general population, for their ancestors
            were considered higher class and married
            freely amongst the elite Indian population.

            This group of Indo-Africans are
            sometimes known as the Royal Sidis ..

            Sidis

            There are identifiable Sidi communities in Gujarat,
            Maharashtra (around Bombay ), and Hyderabad .

            Most of the Sidis live in Gujarat, a state in western India .
            Jambur, a village in the Gir forest is an exclusive Sidi settlement. 

            A smaller group of Sidis lives in
            Junagadh, a town not far from Jambur.

            Sidis also settled in Murud, once the capital of the
            erstwhile state of Janjira (from the Arabic `jazirah'
            meaning an island) on the western coast of Maharashtra .

            The Janjira Fort at Murad was "once the stronghold of
            Abyssinian Sidis, who played an important role in the
            history of Bombay in the latter half of the 17th century".

            Those Sidis who settled in Janjira
            prospered as warriors and great sailors.

            Their fort still stands today in Murud – a small fishing village
            – as does the Sidi Palace on the outskirts of the village.

            Though the interior of the palace is
            not open to tourists, the fort can be visited.

            "Once the fort boasted of five hundred canons, today only
            a handful are left, still intact and able to tell their story.

            Amongst them are the three major cannons, Kalal Bangdi,
            Landakasam and Bhavani, the cherished weapons
            of the Sidis, built from five metals."- Discover India

            "Siddi kingdoms were established in western
            India in Janjira and Jaffrabad as early as 1100 AD.

            After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of
            India , originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called
            themselves Sayyad and were consequently called Siddis.

            Indeed, the island Janjira was formerly called Habshan,
            meaning Habshan's or African's land. Siddi signifies lord or prince.

            It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful
            address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India .

            Specifically, it is said to be an honorific title given to the descendants
            of African natives in the west of India , some of whom were distinguished
            military officers and administrators of the Muslim princes of the Deccan . …

            The Siddis were employed largely as security forces ...
            in the Indian Ocean , a position they maintained for centuries."
            - Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
            HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

            Scholars generally consider the Indo-Africans de
            facto Indians as they mostly speak Indian languages,
            although some groups do retain many African words.

            This process of assimilation was interrupted with the
            advent of British rule in India in the 19th century.

            The British segregated the Indo-Africans from the local
            population, thus impoverishing the process of assimilation.

            Today, except for the Royal Sidis and their descendants
            who are largely integrated, the Indo-African population
            remains largely farmers or unskilled workers, although
            some have also become professionals such as
            doctors, lawyers, teachers and businessmen.

            In Pakistan , which also has a small Indo-African
            population, Indo-Africans are substantially
            more visible as performers and athletes.

            The community, known as Makranis, is almost completely
            centred in the coastal city of Karachi and has achieved

            national status as athletes, especially as boxers,
            a field in which Indo-Africans have represented
            Pakistan in international competition.

            India has always welcomed immigrants from
            around the
            world, giving them acceptance
            and taking from them certain cultural attributes
            that have further enlarged the Indian mosaic.

            Afro-Indians, like all other groups that sought
            shelter in India , were given the freedom
            to assimilate without the pressure
            to lose their ancestral traditions.

            However one views Afro-Indians, their mere
            existence has much to tell us about Africa 's
            place in the world community beyond
            just the dark days of slavery.

            Their history speaks of the African ability to integrate
            into a land other than that from where they originated.

            The African Diaspora in the Americas
            was an
            unwilling one,
            but the Indo-Africans came
            willingly to India , and regardless of their
            ups and downs in Indian history,
            they have chosen to stay there.

            Prominent Indo-Africans in history of India

            Jamal al-Din Yaqut -  a royal courtier in the kingdom
            of Delhi who was believed to be close to the then
            reigning sovereign Queen Raziya (1236- 1240).

            He was killed by jealous rivals.

            Ibn Battuta recalls that at Alapur, north of Delhi ,
            the governor was "the Abyssinian Badr...,
            a man
            whose bravery passed into a proverb".

            Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi,
            was appointed  governor of Jaunpur. 

            Mubarak Shah, his son, later succeeded him.  

            Ibrahim Shah, succeeded his brother
            Mubarak Shah, and ruled for forty years.

            "..the most famous among the Indo-Africans
            was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626).

            Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India ,
            elevated himself to a position of great authority.

            Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu,
            was born around 1550 in Harar , Ethiopia .

            After his arrival in India , Ambar was able to raise
            a formidable army and achieve great power
            in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar.

            Ambar was a brilliant diplomat and administrator.
            " Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website
            HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA

            Habshis ruled Bengal 1486-1491
            by overthrowing the ruler Jalal-al Din.
            Sultan Shahzada 1486 -1487
            Habshi Amir al-Umara (1487-1490)
            Habash Khan
            Sidi Badr 

            SOURCE:

            http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_Diaspora.htm
            http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora2.htm
            http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sept2001/Indo-African_diaspora3.htm  




            --
            "I've had something to say as long as I've
            known there was somthing that needed improving, and
            every step I take is a woman's movement"
            "why can't every decent woman call herself a feminist,
            if just out of respect for those who fought before her?"
            -Ani DiFranco

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