Dakhni Muslims are a Sunni Islamic community that has its roots in the Deccan region.

They are a Sunni Islamic community that has its roots in the Deccan region including Hyderabad. Like the most communities in Kochi, they don’t have a written history that points out the possible period and reasons for their migration into Kochi. 

However, the oral account of the community members suggest that they could have settled in during Tippu Sulthan’s multiple invasions of Kerala. Most of them believe that their forefathers were soldiers in the Sulthan’s army. The community has four sub communities which are Sayyeds, Mugals, Pathans, Shiekhs. 

Dakhni dilect of Urdu is what the language they use at home and within the community. 

It was the community that introduced musical traditions such as Gazals and Qawalis to Kochi. Music, in fact plays a significant role in the social and religious life of the community. It boasts of singers Qawali, Gazal and Playback singers. 

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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