Sidi Sufis: African Indian Mystics of Gujarat

Sacred drums, musical bows, songs and dances recorded at Sidi shrines throughout Gujarat

Sidis are descendants of Africans who travelled across the Indian Ocean from East Africa over the last millennium or more. Gujarati Sidis are Sufi Muslim devotees of the African merchant-saint, Gori Pir. In their sacred songs, they credit Gori Pir with bringing the gift of joy (mauj/lehra) from the waves (mauj/lehra) of the sea. Sharing this sacred gift by cheering and healing the suffering souls who come to their shrines is their divine calling. The joyous energy of these African-Indian sounds recently thrilled audiences in England and Wales during the first Sidi tour abroad.

These unique field recordings by UCLA ethnomusicologists Amy and Nazir Jairazbhoy were made in collaboration with Abdul Hamid Sidi and the Sidi community during their survey of Sidi shrines in Gujarat in 1999-2002.

Proceeds benefit Sidi education projects in Gujarat.


“A modestly produced but intriguing album... the CD provides some convincing musical evidence of an African diaspora to Asia....”
- Prof. Peter Cooke. Yearbook for Traditional Music (2005) 185.

“... an exciting introduction to the world of the Sidi Sufis of Gujarat ... especially welcome given the dearth of written and recorded material on African-Indian music in general. ...this CD presents valuable and vibrant aural documentation of the African-Indian presence on the Indian subcontinent. Students and scholars of Indian music, of Islam and Sufism, and of the African diaspora will find much of interest in Catlin-Jairazbhoy’s audio and video recordings, which provide the first significant resource for this previously little-known African diasporic musical tradition.”
- Prof. Alison Arnold, North Carolina State University. Ethnomusicology (Summer-Fall 2005) 117-119.

CD PRICE $15 + S&H

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