Syncretic Heritage of Africans in India: Identity and Acculturation

Article
Author(s): 
Karan Singh
Publication date: 
September 2015

What often constitutes a surprise for Africans and many Indians is the discovery of largely forgotten settlements of Siddis, descendants of African diaspora in India, who number around forty-five thousand and live in closely knit communities spread out in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka and Telangana. Siddis possess a lively culture as revealed in their famous dance Dhamal and are often seen as symbolic of the rich, syncretic heritage of India. The cultural heritage of these Siddis is located within the historical process of their migration into the socio-economic landscape of India and has been reshaped by strong currents of acculturation and synthesis.