“This video is entertaining to watch and well documented, and the success of the project is readily apparent. It is an excelent illustration of the potential gain to be made by researchers getting involved in community activities and thereby encouraging local music and dance rather than simply documenting its existence.”

-Prof. Roderick Knight, Oberlin College. Ethnomusicology (Fall 2007) 537-539.



THE SIDI MALUNGA PROJECT: Rejuvenating the African Musical Bow in India


This 42-minute documentary chronicles a one-week malunga training camp held at Desert Coursers Nature Resort in Zainabad, Gujarat in February 2003. Prior research by the Jairazbhoys had revealed that fewer than ten Sidis (African Indians) could still play the instrument, all of them elderly.

The purpose of the camp was to bring together some of these elders to teach the basic techniques of malunga construction and performance to 16 Sidi youths, selected from different parts of Gujarat.

Scenes include:

  • assembling 16 malunga bows especially made for the camp
  • group instruction in playing techniques along with singing and dancing
  • worship at a Sufi shrine in natural context
  • spontaneous comic disco dancing
  • brief excerpts from the final costumed Sidi performance
  • interviews with the students
  • concludes with a return to Gujarat one year later to evaluate the impact of the camp on the participants


Now Available on DVD!!!

DVD Chapter listings

1. introduction (4:25)
2. malunga camp (13:25)
• assembling and stringing bows
• playing techniques
• walking, dancing, & singing with bows

3. shrine (4:30)
4. malungas in qawwali (1:30)
5. night dancing for fun (1:30)
6. final dance program (2:20)
7. interviews with students (1:10)
8. one year later (1:17)
9. medicant's malunga rounds (4:30)
10. student turns mendicant (5:30)


ISBN 1-880519-27-5 VHS Price $45 + S&H
ISBN 880519-28-3 DVD Price $45 + S&H