Showing posts from July, 2013

Siddis of Karnataka and the Habshis from Abyssinia … -The Lost African Tribe

Siddi Dance-Damami Kunita from Karntaka siddis

The word 'habsi'.. Recently, I was talking  to a friend, Arun Chakarvarthi,  a senior police officer, who mentioned about “Habshi kote” in Bidar . The word “ habshi” stayed in my mind for a long time.  I started thinking  that I heard this word' habsi' somewhere else, too. It took me back to my childhood memories and the story started unfolding in front of me…. Who are these Habsis..? My hair was untidy,  entangled, and not combed.  My grandmother came with a  small brass pot  of oil  and  a comb and  was quick to remark “Habsi! Habsi”!  This was some 30 years back.  In my village near Ankola , “Habsi” was a term used to tease  girls when they didn’t keep their hair tidy.    I wondered where this word came from..? How and why did my grandmother and other village folk associate the word ‘Habsi’ with entangled hair . 

The Habsi God: I also recall my father mentioning about Habsi Devar…