Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. [53], According to an mtDNA study by Shah et al. They came to be known by the name of Siddis or Habshis (Ethiopians or Abyssinians). You can site this fort in a small town named Murud. [60] Outside of their communities, men also tend to be employed as farm hands, drivers, manual laborers, and security guards.[61]. One theory is that the word derives from sahibi, a Arabic term of respect in North Africa, similar to the word sahib in modern India and Pakistan. [23] Historically, Siddis have not existed only within binary relations to the nation state and imperial forces. 147-154, 2019 [63][64][65], African ethnic group in India and Pakistan, This article is about the South Asian ethnic group. [24] The Siddi are recognized as a scheduled tribe in 3 states and 1 union territory: Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka and Daman and Diu.[25]. The musical anthem of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, "Bija Teer", is a Balochi song in the musical style of the Sheedis with Black African style rhythm and drums. A former alternative name of Janjira was Habshan (i.e., land of the Habshis). [10], Similarly, another term for Siddis, habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Northeast African Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent. Murud is a Marathi word for the Siddis, an ethnic group originating from Abyssinia, a historical nation in modern day Ethiopia. One theory is that the word derives from sahibi, an Arabic term of respect in North Africa, similar to the word sahib in modern India and Pakistan. [20][21], Harris (1971) provides an historical survey of the eastward dispersal of slaves from Southeast Africa to places like India. [31] The term is believed to be derived from the Ngoma drumming and traditional dance forms of the Bantu people inhabiting Central, East and Southern Africa. The term ‘Siddi’ is derived from North Africa, where it was used as a term of respect. [52] Only around 12% carried Africa-derived clades, which mainly consisted of the archaic haplogroup B-M60, of which they bore the highest frequency of any Pakistani population Underhill et al. Memorials of Sovereignty: Funerary Architecture of the Siddis of Janjira at Khokri (Maharashtra) Arts Asiatiques, vol 74 (2019), pp. Goma music comes from the Kiswahili word "ngoma", which means a drum or drums. Is it far into the sea? The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. These captains were known as Sayyid. Janjira was strategically a very important and impregnable fort in the Arabian Sea, with cannons embedded all around. Malik Ambar (pictured) is the most prominent example of a Siddi in India. Siddis first came to Janjira as traders in the fifteenth century, and from 1621 until the merger of all princely states into the Indian Union in March 1948, Janjira was ruled by a Siddi family dynasty. The authors observed the E1b1a1-M2 haplogroup, which is frequent among Bantu peoples, in about 42% and 34% of Siddis from Karnataka and Gujarat, respectively. Around 14% of Siddis from Karnataka and 35% of Siddis from Gujarat also belonged to the Sub-Saharan B-M60. The remaining autosomal DNA components in the studied Siddi were mainly associated with local South Asian populations. So Murud-Janjira essentially means “island of the Siddis”. Janjira also known as Murud-janjira is a unique Jal-Durg (sea Fort) built by an Abssynian minister Malik Ambar of the Sultan of Ahmednagar who belonged to the Nizamshahi dynasty. When the confrontation ended, 1,500 Siddis, including their leader Siddi Sat, were killed. They are very active in cultural activities and organise annual festivals, like, Habash Festival, with the support of several community organisations. [42][43] Sheedis are also well known for their excellence in sports, especially in football and boxing. (2011), the maternal ancestry of the Siddi consists of a mixture of Bantu-associated haplogroups and Indian-associated haplogroups, reflecting substantial female gene flow from neighbouring Indian populations. The word Janjira is a corruption of the Arabic word “Jazeera”, which means an island. In the 18th century, a Siddi community was established in Hyderabad State by the Arab Siddi diaspora, who have frequently served as cavalry guards to the Asif Jahi Nizam of Hyderabad's army. How did a young boy sold as a slave in Ethiopia rise and become so powerful in India? Recent advances in genetic analyses have helped shed some light on the ethnogenesis of the Siddi. [5] The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 270,000–350,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad in India and Makran and Karachi in Pakistan[6] as the main population centres. According to the authors, the genome-wide ancestry of the Makrani was essentially the same as that of the neighboring Indo-European speaking Balochi and Dravidian-speaking Brahui.[55]. 1. The Siddis of Hyderabad have traditionally resided in the A.C. Janjira Fort is a few hours' journey from Mumbai's Gateway of India pier. The Janjira Fort was initially made up of small wooden structure in the 15th Century. They live primarily along the Makran in Balochistan, and lower Sindh. But Siddis in Karnataka are primarily Catholics, possibly influenced by their Portuguese and Goan masters. [57] Like other ethnic groups separated by geography, there are both differences and similarities in cultural practices among the Siddi. The latter group are believed to have been soldiers with Muhammad bin Qasim's Arab army, and were called Zanjis. Malik Ambar - The Deccan’s African Defender | Tales & Trails. A former alternative name of Janjira was Habshan (i.e., land of the Habshis). It has been reported that these Siddis believe that Barack Obama shares their genepool.They wished to gift him and honour him on his visit to India in 2010. In the Delhi Sultanate period prior to the rise of the Mughals in India, Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut was a prominent Siddi slave-turned-nobleman who was a close confidant of Razia Sultana (1235–1240 CE). [11][12][13] Siddis were referred to as Zanji by Arabs; in China, various transcriptions of this Arabic word were used, including Xinji (辛吉) and Jinzhi (津芝).[14][15][16][17]. [37] In the city of Karachi, the main Sheedi centre is the area of Lyari and other nearby coastal areas. A Y-chromosome study by Shah et al. Fortified to the teeth, the structure could never be conquered by the Marathas, the Portuguese, or the British; in spite of their numerous attempts. The princely state of Janjira fluttered its red flag with the crescent moon until India won independence in 1947 and merged all the princely states with the union by the following year. Murud is the nearest town to the fort which is located at about 165 kms from Mumbai. Some Siddis escaped slavery to establish communities in forested areas, and some also established the small Siddi principalities of Janjira State on Janjira Island and Jafarabad State in Kathiawar as early as the twelfth century. A good example of “Jal-Durg” (Fort amidst water), Murud Janjira is quiet unfamiliar to peoples. [5] There is a 50,000-strong Siddhi population across India, of which more than a third live in Karnataka. [8], There are conflicting hypotheses on the origin of the name Siddi. Some Siddis also came as merchants but most of them worked as slaves and since then remained in India as part of the African diaspora. [5], Narang et al. ", "Habshis and Siddis – Africans and African descendants in South Asia", The Global African Community/Great Habshis in Ethiopian/Indian History, "South Asia's Africans: A Forgotten People", BBC "In pictures: India's African communities", https://web.archive.org/web/20070115035750/http://travel.expressindia.com/story/20499.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Siddi&oldid=994214081, Articles with dead external links from March 2011, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles using infobox ethnic group with image parameters, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Sidi Sayyid, credited with the building of the, This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 17:06. It also had high economic importance as the traders had to pay large amounts to pass by this fort. 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