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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Uprooting, Rerooting: Culture, Religion and Community among Indentured Muslim Migrants in Colonial Natal, 1890-1911
Author:Vahed, Goolam H.
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic terms:Natal
South Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:Islamic culture
contract labour
agricultural workers
Urbanization and Migration
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582470108671408
Abstract:This article considers issues relating to religion and culture among Indian Muslims in Natal, which imported 152,184 indentured workers from British India between 1860 and 1911. It is based on official reports, the most valuable being those of the Protector of Indian Immigrants, who was appointed in 1870 to supervise the indenture system. After presenting background information on the indentured Muslims arriving in Natal from 1860 onward, the article pays attention, amongst others, to working and living conditions on the plantations where they lived, resistance and desertion of indentured workers, issues related to marriage and family, and white hostility towards Indians. While the traditions, values, practices and beliefs of migrants' varied experiences in India played a crucial role in the creation of the Muslim community in Natal, we need to move beyond cultural continuity and take cognizance of the imperial context in Natal which forced Muslims to transform, perhaps even abandon some of their practices. Indenture was a difficult, traumatic, even degrading experience, and the process of reconstituting their societies involved both fragmentation and reconstruction. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]