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The Hadrami Diaspora
Community-Building on the Indian Ocean Rim
216 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-742-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2010)
ISBN 978-1-78238-397-0 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (February 2014)
eISBN 978-1-84545-978-9 eBook
“In highlighting the multiple identities of Hadrami communities in the diaspora and the degree of their adaptability in host countries, Manger produces rich historical and ethnographic accounts that address their situations in Singapore, Hyderabad, Sudan, and Ethiopia through the colonial, postcolonial, nation-state formation, and globalization periods.” · American Anthropologist
“While the book's focus is largely historical…, the analyses of Hadrami identity, social order, and religious change are first-rate.” · Choice
“…the text is well written and readable and this book will be a useful text for migration studies scholars, dealing as it does with a multicentred diaspora – or perhaps ‘diasporas,’ since the author suggests that Hadramis constitute a collection of diasporic communities with little in common but a point of departure. The text’s wide focus will be of particular value to readers who are not familiar with the societies in question.” · Anthropos
"A fascinating subject, based on extensive fieldwork and excellent case studies of diaspora communities." · Christopher Davidson, Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Durham, UK
The Hadramis of South Yemen and the emergence of their diasporic communities throughout the Indian Ocean region are an intriguing facet of the history of this region’s migratory patterns. In the early centuries of migration, the Yemeni, or Hadrami, traveler was both a trader and a religious missionary, making the migrant community both a “trade diaspora” and a “religious diaspora.” This tradition has continued as Hadramis around the world have been linked to networks of extremist, Islamic-inspired movements—Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda and descendant of a prominent Hadrami family, as the most infamous example. However, communities of Hadramis living outside Yemen are not homogenous. The author expertly elucidates the complexity of the diasporic process, showing how it contrasts with the conventional understanding of the Hadrami diaspora as an unchanging society with predefined cultural characteristics originating in the homeland. Exploring ethnic, social, and religious aspects, the author offers a deepened understanding of links between Yemen and Indian Ocean regions (including India, Southeast Asia, and the Horn of Africa) and the emerging international community of Muslims.
Leif Manger is a Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. His recent publications include, Diasporas Within and Without Africa: Dynamism, Hetereogeneity, Variation (co-edited with Munzoul A.M. Assal, Uppsala 2006). He has published works on trade, communal labor, and socio-cultural processes of Arabization and Islamization.