African By Origin, Indian By Nationality

(From Meet the Siddi people, a marginalized African tribe of India.  The Siddi are unique in that they are both African and Indian, and they speak the Gujarati language.  The Siddi people, who trace their roots to Africa, have been living in India and Pakistan virtually unnoticed for thousands of years.  The Siddi ancestors originated among the Bantu people of East Africa and were brought to India first by the Arabs in the 7th century and then by the Portuguese and the British as slaves and indentured laborers.  Other free people, including merchants, sailors, and mercenaries, also made their way to India.  

After slavery was abolished in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Siddis fled into the country’s deep forests for fear of being captured and tortured.   The Siddi are currently estimated to number at least 850,000 people.  However, they are an oppressed and marginalized minority ethnicity in India.  The vast majority of Siddis are Muslims, but there are also Christians and Hindus among them.  You can read the full article at