Kappiri Shrines

One can find several shrines dedicated to the spirits of deceased Africans along the coastal regions of Thrissur and Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Shrines for African [ … ]

African Spirits of the Malabar Coast

African memoryscapes in Kerala are preserved through alternative processes of cultural conservation including rituals and beliefs directed towards Kappiri, a spirit who personifies local collective histories. In coastal Kerala one [ … ]

Slavery and Migration

  African migration towards the western coast of India, chiefly through the Indian Ocean trade network predates European invasions of the subcontinent. Africans living in the hinterlands were often captured [ … ]

African Spaces

  Memories of the African past, identity, and religious beliefs are closely linked to particular places or sites in the Indian sub-continent. Places associated with African histories in India can [ … ]


  Memories of cross-cultural exchanges between coastal cities of Africa and the Indian subcontinent are preserved and remembered, updated and invented through music and repertoires of ritual performances. Scholars at [ … ]

Artistic Representations

Today, historical and cultural memories of Africans in Kochi are being articulated through several creative projects. African spirits have also become a subject for various artistic interpretations. A site-specific installation [ … ]

Material Cultures

  The contributions of the Afro-Indian community especially the Sidis towards the material cultures and urban planning in India is a lesser-known history. The Sidis of Janjira who wielded great [ … ]


  Even before filmmakers and visual artists in the state of Kerala started addressing about African presence in colonial Cochin (Kochi), local writers were weaving Africans into the plots of [ … ]


Neelima Jeychandran is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Africana Research Center at Pennsylvania State University. From 2015-017, she worked as a Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor in the Indian Ocean [ … ]


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