Monday, March 2, 2009
A Siddhi Lady and her daughter in the Sunday market
The cheerful lady in this picture was also in Karwar, in the Sunday Vegetable market to sell home-grown plaintains, from Joida/Kumbharwada, approx 65 km from Karwar. This is a unique tribe to Karwar district, and are known as Siddhis.
The Siddhis of Karnataka (Kannada: ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಸಿದ್ಧಿಗಳು) are a tribe of African descent that has made Karnataka their home for the last 400 years. There is a 50,000 strong Siddhi population across India, of which more than a third live in Karnataka. In Karnataka, they are concentrated around Yellapur, Haliyal, Ankola, Joida, Mundagod and Sirsi taluks of Uttara Kannada and in Khanapur of Belgaum and Kalagatgi of Dharwad district. Their language is a mixture of Siddi Konkani and Siddi Marathi. They also speak Kannada. Source
The origins of the Siddhis seems to be a disputed issue as per this Report
The Siddhis are the only Konkani speaking people of African origin. Stranded on the West Coast following a shipwreck some 700 years back, they were soon absorbed into the local culture. They speak a distinct dialect of Konkani and even today retain their phyiscal African features. Link