According to Professor Amy Catlin, an ethno-musicologist from UCLA, who is making a special study of Sidi culture, “In Gujarat, affinities with African music include certain musical instruments and their names”, she says, “and also the performance of an African-derived musical genre called “goma”. http://www.indo-african-society.org/pages/indo_african_diaspora1.htm, Before Columbus: Black Explorers of the New World By…, Study Finds that the Yorubas Are Genetically 99.9%…, The rise of Ms Tanzeela Qambrani - The Sidis (the…, KAFA KUDZO DZREKE: How “IVRI” Became “Hebrew”, The countries that attended the US Embassy opening…, 13th Century African Coin Found in Australia. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan ("of Habshi" or Abyssinian). The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi. Bassein: The Forgotten City. Therefore, the island of Kansa near Janjira was the site of a fort named Padmadurg to counter the Siddi. It’s betwixt the distance of 5km to Murud-Janjira Fort and again 48km just from Alibaug. The African Siddis of Janjira LHI Team. It is often called the unconquerable or impregnable fort because it evaded conquest for over 500 years. 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. According to Dr. Richard Pankhurst, commercial contacts between Ethiopia and India are mentioned in the Periplus – a Graeco-Egyptian commercial manual written around the first century AD. Most of the Sidis live in Gujarat, a state in western India. From then onward Siddis became independent, owing allegiance to Adilshah and the Mughals as dictated by the times. Amongst them are the three major cannons, Kalal Bangdi, Landakasam and Bhavani, the cherished weapons of the Sidis, built from five metals.”- Discover India. Originally known as the Janjira Fort, it is one of the strongest marine forts of India. The fort and its buildings lacks architectural ornamentation. According to one legend, in the year 1489 the Ahmadnagar Sultanate sent its Admiral Piram Khan (of Ethiopian descent) with orders to capture the Murud-Janjira castle from Ram Patil. The latter group are believed to have been soldiers with Muhammad bin Qasim's Arab army, and were called Zanjis. Jambur, a village in the Gir forest is an exclusive Sidi settlement. The Siddis were employed largely as security forces for Muslim fleets in the Indian Ocean, a position they maintained for centuries.” – Tom Mountains Ambedkar Journal Website HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA. Most were mercenaries or prisoners of war of the Muslim rulers. This process of assimilation was interrupted with the advent of British rule in India in the 19th century. 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 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. Under the extensive Indian affirmative action programs, most Indo-Africans are classified as scheduled tribes, which entitles them to reservations in university seats and other government support. The beach conducts numerous water sports and boat journey, which is an attention seeker for sports lovers. Janjira Murud. Murud is the nearest town to the fort which is located at about 165 kms from Mumbai. 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. Africans also came as midwives and herbalists, and as musicians, sailors and merchants. Mubarak Shah, his son, later succeeded him. Murud Janjira is a good example of water body fort located near the south Konkan coastline. These tombs were infact those of a Siddi dynasty that had ruled Murud for more than 300 years, through the periods of the early Islamic Sultanates, the Mughals and even the British, Marathas and Portuguese, building a small but powerful state. Malik Ambar - The Deccan’s African Defender | Tales & Trails 00:00. Though the interior of the palace is not open to tourists, the fort can be visited. 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. Inside the Janjira Fort, you can see the water tanks, beautiful tombs and stone sculptures. Those Sidis who settled in Janjira prospered as warriors and great sailors. Habshis ruled Bengal 1486-1491 by overthrowing the ruler Jalal-al Din. It was the dynasty that built the famed Janjira fort! After his arrival in India, Ambar was able to raise a formidable army and achieve great power in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar. Memorials of Sovereignty: Funerary Architecture of the Siddis of Janjira at Khokri (Maharashtra) Arts Asiatiques, vol 74 (2019), pp. 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 in the middle of the Arabian Sea was also built by the Nawab’s ancestors. Abstract A good example of “Jal-Durg” (Fort amidst water), Murud Janjira is quiet unfamiliar to peoples. 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. Well-conceived and well-defended, it was never conquered, though attacked dozens of times. Early in the 20th century, a woman named Langi Nur-Bai arrived in Zanzibar from India where she had been a drummer and singer. An architectural beauty in the Arabian sea, off the coast of Murud, the fort is about 50 feet high. They are calling it India’s ‘Lost Civilization’... but is it really? The majority of Indo-Africans are Muslims, but other similarities are hard to find. This article is posted Courtesy www.africana.com. A study of this Indo-African population offers a realistic portrayal of Africans as traders, warriors, and sailors. 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. Owing to the castle's fortifications, the Admiral could not attack conventionally. The Sidis here have retained their lineage of music and dance – their only link now with Africa. This portrays the valor of the Siddis. Janjira fort is around 6 Kms away from Murud beach and one would cross a river and hill top to reach there. Several others followed with the first Arab Islamic conquest of the subcontinent in 712 AD. 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. You need to drive on the The Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rocky island in the Arabian Sea, near the coastal town of Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai, India. What brought them to India? It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India. Nawab Siddi Ahmad Khan, the nawab of Janjira from 1879 to 1922. There are conflicting theories on the origin of the name Siddi. “..the most famous among the Indo-Africans was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626). Janjira Murud. 147-154, 2019 Siddi Ambar the Little is accordingly considered the first Nawab of Janjira state. The everliving rastafari makonen emperor haile selassie i, america was Black before columbus came – YouTube Video, The very aboriginal americans – YouTube Video, African Roots of Famous Euro-American Families, JENdA: A Journal of African Women Studies & Culture. Janjira state had always faced rivalry with the Marathas especially with the Angrias, a Maratha Koli family with forts and ships. The first of all the beaches here is the Janjira-Murud beach. Malik Sarwar, described as a Habshi, was appointed governor of Jaunpur. The Murud – Janjira Fort is the prime highlight of this tourist hotspot. Spanish Proverb:- “Africa empieza en los Pirineos”. 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). As the story goes, the ruler of the state was killed in a palace coup d’etat led by an Indo-African general serving in the king’s army, who went on to proclaim himself king. Janjira Murud. 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. After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of India, originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called themselves Sayyad (descendants of Muhammad) and were consequently called Siddis. The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port. Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu, was born around 1550 in Harar, Ethiopia. It is filed under Thoughts/ Articles and tagged with africa in india, blacks in india, india ethnic tribes, racial minorities india, siddi tribe in india, siddi tribe photographs, siddi village sasangir, siddis of gujarat. Descendants of these dynasty’s still survive today. Prominent Indo-Africans in history of India. The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape. Siddi signifies lord or prince. Major historical figures from Murud-Janjira include men such as Sidi Hilal, Yahya Saleh and Sidi Yaqub. 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. The island fortress was under control of Adil Shahi dynasty until the reign of Ibrahim II where Janjira fort was lost to the Siddis. Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India, elevated himself to a position of great authority. Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. 00:00. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of sunset over the beauty of the Murud beach. Photo: The Kenneth and Joyce Robbins Collection/ By Special Arrangement) 8/24 The fort of … They are a vast and diverse population spread throughout India with separate histories and unique roles within the Indian strata. Their fort still stands today in Murud – a small fishing village – as does the Sidi Palace on the outskirts of the village. Originally the fort was a small wooden structure built by a Koli chief in the late 15th century. Ratnagiri Petroglyphs: A Window into the Past. Different communities speak different languages and culturally most consider themselves Indian save for a few African cultural remnants. Little research has been done on this unique population, but slowly literature on this small group is growing. Opposite of that is a big sweet water tank. The Sidi … In studying and recording the group’s music, they had recognised a common melody and similar themes in the music to that which was sung by a certain ethnic group in Tanzania. Janjira is especially considered one of the best specimens of naval fort architecture. This beach is truly an analogy of love at first sight because of its sceneries of waters, glistening sand surrounded by green hilly areas. July 30th 2020 follow. More than 250,000 descendants of Africans still live amongst the Indian people. A former alternative name of Janjira was Habshan (i.e., land of the Habshis). To keep a check on the Portuguese power, Sindhudurg was built near Goa, and at the entrance to Mumbai harbour, the fort of Khanderi was built in 1679. Malik Ambar - The Deccan’s African Defender | Tales & Trails. It was actually built by the Nawab of Janjira and was intended for administration purposes. Are believed to have arrived in Zanzibar from India where she had been a drummer singer. 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