Bohra Muslims came to Kochi from Gujarat via Alappuzha. 

They are the only Muslim community in Kochi that follows Shiite Islam, one of the two major Islamic sects. 

The name Bohra is said to have evolved from the Gujarati word ‘Vehru’ which means trade. Unsurprisingly trading has traditionally been their occupation.

In Kochi, most of the Boras are into hardware retailing. There are no historical records suggesting their period of migration. However, oral records confirm that it was Alappuzha, place which is approximately 80 kilometers to the south of Kochi that they made their home before moving into Kochi. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI

Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.

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