Sidi Goma

Black Sufis Of Gujarat (India)

If you think you’ve seen it all, think again: this is a rare opportunity to discover the joyful and exuberant devotional music and dance of the hidden community of Sidi African-Indians from Gujarat, India.

The Sidis of Gujarat are a 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.

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. Sidi men and women perform sacred music and dance during rituals in the shrines to Bava Gor, and have lived on accepting alms for touring these devotional genres from villages to shrines  for centuries. Their native African music styles, melodic and rhythmic structures, lyrics and musical instruments have mingled with local influences to form this final symbolic representation of African-Indian ness.

Link to Sidi Goma Website


Apsara Media Documentary featuring Sidi Goma


FROM AFRICA TO INDIA: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora

Sidis descend from Africans who sailed across the Indian Ocean to the west coast of India over many centuries. This documentary project explores the expressions of their Indian and African cultural heritage. MORE


Other Materials Featuring Sidi African-Indians



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. MORE



SIDI SUFIS: African-Indian Mystics of Gujarat (CD)

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. MORE




Essays on African Indians

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Edward A. Alpers, editors

This book details aspects of African Indian history, communities, music, and religion, from the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, religious studies, and ethnomusicology. MORE