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Meet the Fast Disappearing Community of Indians and Pakistanis of African Origin

Mridula Chari | Quartz   in  ·
July 7, 2015

When people think of Africans in Indian history, Malik Ambar tends to be the first name to come to mind. Brought to Ahmadnagar as a warrior-slave in the 16th century, he rose to be the general of the Deccan sultanate’s army—and eventually its regent.

Yet, Ambar was only the most successful of thousands of Africans brought to India by Arab and Portuguese slavers across the Arabian Sea. Thousands of others came as mercenaries and merchants. Today, the Sidis—as people of African origin living in India for centuries call themselves—are a fast disappearing community. Separated by appearance, if not by culture, they are largely misunderstood.

British photographer Luke Duggleby is attempting to change that. In the ambitious Sidi Project, Duggleby documents the lives of the community—not just in India but also in Pakistan.

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