Salaams and Greetings All
The Australian Muslim Cameleers website was officially launched today by the South Australian Museum.
This is a very important part of Australian history that is often overlooked...please visit the visit and learn about a vital part in the history of Muslims in Australia.
Here is a short summary:
Known in Australia as ‘Afghans’, the cameleers came mainly from the arid hills and plains of Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the north-west of British India (today’s Pakistan). The cameleers belonged to four main ethnic groups: Pashtun, Baluchi, Punjabi, and Sindhi. Despite cultural and linguistic differences, the cameleers shared ancient skills. In their homelands many led semi-nomadic lives, carrying goods by camel string along centuries-old trade routes through arid and harsh regions of Central Asia.
The cameleers also shared the Islamic religion, which had spread eastwards through Afghanistan and northern India between the 7th and 10th centuries. The Muslim faith blended with local custom, such as the Pashtun code of honour, the Pashtunwali. Islam was a strong bond between cameleers in Australia, despite their different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. A small number of cameleers were of the Sikh religion, but the great majority were Muslim. Many found time for prayer as they travelled through the outback. In their communities Small iron or earth-walled mosques provided a focus for daily prayer, religious festivals, and sociability.
The cameleers spoke a mix of languages in Australia , reflecting their diverse origins. It is likely that Pashto, Dari (Persian), Baluchi, Punjabi, Sindhi and Urdu were heard in the streets of Kalgoorlie, Bourke and Marree. Some cameleers were literate, while others relied upon oral tradition, reciting poems or folk-tales at evening campfires and celebrations. Although the language of the Qur’ãn was not widely spoken in Central Asia, the cameleers uttered their prayers in Arabic.
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10-Aug-2011 12:02 AM
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
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