Abstract

African sacred spaces in India are carved and maintained by mortal beings mostly hailing from the Sidi African-Indian community and from other subaltern communities, and these spaces are perpetually protected by African spirit beings. Thriving as marginal spaces in the overcrowded Indian cities, coastal towns, and villages, these African sacred topographies are continuously reimagined and reinvented by invested stakeholders to suit contemporary purposes. While addressing the complex connections of some of these sacredscapes with the African Indian Ocean slave trade, this paper examines how shrines dedicated to African Sufi saints and spirits keep African memories alive as devotees continue to seek the intercessions of these saints and spectral deities. By studying the spiritual beliefs and practices at these shrines, I discuss how African sacred geography in India prevails as a relational space connected to the Indian Ocean littoral through the intercessory powers of the African saints and spirits.

You do not currently have access to this content.