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This exciting collection of essays brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to explore the history and present circumstances of one of India’s least known minority groups, the African Indians.
Following the editors’ introduction which covers the scholarly literature on Africans in India and an historical overview that looks at the larger history of Africans in India, the essays focus on two different communities of African Indians—the Sidis of Gujarat and the Sidis of Uttara Kannada. They illumine various aspects of the life of Sidis in contemporary India, their worship at the Sufi shrine of Gori Pir, their music and dance, their liminal existence and their agonizing dilemmas and predicament in the complex mosaic that is present-day India.
Co-edited by an ethnomusicologist of India and an historian of Africa, the contributors include specialists in anthropology, archaeology, art history, religious studies and films from Ghana, Sweden, Germany, the United States and India. Together, they bring to bear their wealth of research experience and scholarship in Africa and India on the fascinating and varied experience of Indians of African origin.
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Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy is Visiting Associate Professor and Research Associate in the Development of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research, writing, teaching, curating, and multi-media publications often have an applied focus aimed at community development of minority traditions, especially in diasporic settings.
Edward A. Alpers is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also taught at the Universities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1966-1968), and the Samoli National University, Lafoole (1980). His major publications include Ivory and Slaves in East Central Africa, Walter Rodney: Revolutionary and Scholar, co-edited with Pierre-Michel Fonatine, and History, Memory and Identity, co-edited with Vijayalakshmi Teelock.
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