The so called ‘Negro’ Village in Gujarat

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In Sasan Gir in Gujarat, we saw this ‘Peacock Dance’. We were astonished at the style and the beat of the dance, which felt completely African. The body structure of the men performing the dance did not feel Indian either. It felt like a troop of dancers that flew in from a country in Africa. I was told that the dancers came from the ‘Negro Village’. And when went there the next day, we found a village (and then many more) where everyone looked completely African but spoke and were culturally completely Gujarati. They told me they were descended from the people that were brought in by the Nawab of Junagargh, but some said that they had descended from fr earlier times, when the Arab traders brought Abbisynian slaves many many generations ago. The term ‘Negro Village’ is the local term, not mine.

14 Responses to “The so called ‘Negro’ Village in Gujarat”

  1. Rosa says:

    Thanks for those wonderful photos! I’m trying to picture these people speaking Indian – it’s hard to imagine – LOL. The world is a fascinating place…

  2. Rosa says:

    Thanks for those wonderful photos! I’m trying to picture these people speaking Indian – it’s hard to imagine – LOL. The world is a fascinating place…

  3. Hemlyn says:

    Oh! Those are the Sidis.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1035389.stm
    I love the first photograph; the searching eyes are very engaging.

  4. austere says:

    Yes, the Siddis.
    I’d go by the Arab trader story, or may be a shipwreck? In the really ancient maps on display at the Prince of Wales Museum, “Cambat” (Khambhat) and
    “Gulerat” (Gujarat) were clearly marked. And if you look at Dwarka or Lothal, there is so much proof that those routes have been known for very long.

  5. ruchi says:

    it is amazing, they speak gujarat dialact of surastra

  6. Neeta says:

    So many surprises around us. African dances have such an earthy rhythm, quite entrancing.

  7. Ritu says:

    What is probably more incredible is that they have kept the purity of their race. Usually some kind of racial inter-mingling takes place over such a long period of time introducing new sub-races of which India is a treasure house. However, it is surprising that the Sidis did not mingle.
    Also is surprising that the African traditions have been preserved down so many centuries. Truly a fascinating phenomenon.
    Cheers

  8. Mee says:

    Thanks! Interesting- knew abt african gujratis from zambia and south africa, but negro gujratis – is news for me. Am learning everyday:)

  9. preeti says:

    yes its absolutely amazing…. i also happen to visit Sasan Gir and got to visit this village … and when they speak to you in local language it makes you realise how small are the differences between people and cultures… which we magnify in our ignorance

  10. I just got back from Little Rann of Kutch and had I read your blog before I would have definitely gone to this place.On my next trip I plan to go to Greater Rann of Kutch,lohad and maybe this place.

  11. I just got back from Little Rann of Kutch and had I read your blog before I would have definitely gone to this place.On my next trip I plan to go to Greater Rann of Kutch,lohad and maybe this place.

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  13. Ashutosh Mahajan says:

    India has greatly mingled Genes from various cultures, peoples and traditions all over the world. Now I came to know, why some peoples in India looks like African ones. So we can conclude that we have the Genes from all Religions & Tribes all over the world. That’s Great! Unity in Diversity= India.

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