Sidi Goma

Wed, 10. 10. 2007 - 19:30
Palac Akropolis

The Sidis of Gujarat are a tribal Sufi community of East African origin which
came to India eight centuries ago and made Gujarat their home. They carried with
them their exceptionally rich musical tradition and kept it alive and
flourishing through the generations, unknown to the rest of the world.

Their history is rooted in the slave trade of the 13th century and beyond,
when Arab and later European slave traders systematically captured thousands of
African men, women and children and took them across the seas for sale to the
highest bidders. Many Sidi arrived in India as slaves to the Maharajas and
Nawabs of the day, whilst others came as merchants, navigators, sailors and
slave kings, settling in Gujarat. Their Nubian features attracted the Arab slave
traders because of their huge demand in many Indian households as trusted
servants and status symbols.

The Sidis are the most musically inclined, who recognise music as a tool for
becoming closer to God. A traditional occupation of African-Indian Sufis in
Gujarat has been to perform sacred music and dance as wandering faqirs, singing
songs to their black Sufi saint, Bava Gor. Many Sidis also perform as muezzins
as they feel closely related to Hazrat Bilal, a black African man who was the
first person chosen by Prophet Mohammed to recite adhan (call to prayer). Over
time, the Sidis' native African music styles, melodic and rhythmic structures,
lyrics and musical instruments mingled with local influences in Gujarat to form
this unique and symbolic representation of African-Indian spirit.

Tickets: till 10. 8. 320,- CZK after 370,- CZK /Ticketpro/