Author: Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya, Jean-Pierre Angenot.
Migration of Africans to Asia, both free and forced, has gone on for centuries. Yet there is not much awareness of an African presence in Asian countries. This special issue emphasizes the African presence in Asia. Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya draws attention to the difficulties of recognizing an African presence in Asia which is connected to the existence of the numerous terms used for Africans. Gwyn Campbell questions if there might be an African 'slave' diaspora in the Indian Ocean world similar to that of the well-documented African diaspora of the Americas. Robert O. Collins describes the Africa slave trade to Asia across the Sahara, over the Red Sea, and from the coast of East Africa, and how this trade was conducted in each of these regions. Beatrice Nicolini examines the role played by the Makrani-Baluch tribes during the 19th century's sub-Saharan East African apogee with the Omanis, and their influence on the social, political and economic level, giving special attention to slavery. Leila Ingrams and Richard Pankhurst deal with Somali migration to Aden from the 19th to the 21st centuries, drawing attention to Somali who were not enslaved, but who moved to Yemen for trade, in search of employment or as refugees. Jeanette Pinto highlights the existence of 'black slavery' in India. [ASC Leiden abstract]