Sri Lanka Kaffir people


Sri Lanka Kaffir people

The Kaffirs (English, also "cafrinhas" in Portuguese or කාපිරි "kāpiriyō" in Sinhala) are an ethnic group in Sri Lanka who are partially descended from 16th century Portuguese traders and the African slaves who were brought by them.

The Kaffirs spoke a distinctive creole based on Portuguese, the Sri Lanka Kaffir language, now extinct. Their cultural heritage includes the dance styles Kaffringna and Manja.

Etymology

The name "Kaffir" is an obsolete English term once used to designate African natives in general, especially from the Western and Southern coasts. (In South Africa, it became an intense racial slur, demoralizing Blacks.) "Kaffir" derives in turn from the Arabic "kafir", "infidel", which was used by the Arab slave traders to refer to those natives.

It is not clear whether the Portuguese name "cafrinha" was derived from English "Kaffir" after the English took over Sri Lanka, or came directly from the Arabic "kafir" in the 16th century, when the Portuguese were buying slaves from the Arab traders. During the 1500s, the Portuguese did indeed call the peoples of Southern Africa "Cafres" - "cafrinha" indeed is a diminutive of "Cafre".

Demography

Kaffir communities are still found mainly in the North-Western province of Sri Lanka. There was some contact between the Kaffir and the Burghers, communities of partly European ancestry on the East coast of Sri Lanka.

History

Following the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian peninsula, the Portuguese started a vigorous programme of sea exploration. By 1444 they had reached the west coast of Africa and became involved in the African slave trade. They imported slaves from Africa to the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka, then called "Ceylon".

The descendants of the freed African slaves are still a distinctive community near Puttalam in the Northwestern province of Sri Lanka. They interacted with the Burgher communities, descendants of Europeans and native Sri Lankans, at Trincomalee and Batticaloa on the East coast of the island.

ee also

*Baila, a musical style developed among the Sri Lanka Kaffirs.
*South Africa Kaffir people
*kaffir (ethnic slur)
*Portuguese-based creole languages

External links

* [http://www.lankalibrary.com/cul/kaffirs.htm Kaffirs in Sri Lanka - Descendants of enslaved Africans] at Sri Lanka virtual library site.
* [http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/portu/creole.htm Sri Lanka Portuguese Creoles] at Sri Lanka virtual library site.
* [http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/DIASPORA/SLAVE.HTM The Beginnings of the European Slave Trade]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sri-Lanka — Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sri Lanka (île) — Sri Lanka Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sri lanka — Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese language — Infobox Language name = Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole nativename = states = Sri Lanka speakers = 3,406 [ [http://www.ethnologue.com/show language.asp?code=idb Ethnologue] ] familycolor = Creole fam1 = Creole language fam2 = Portuguese Creole fam3 …   Wikipedia

  • République démocratique socialiste de Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • République démocratique socialiste du Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • République socialiste démocratique de Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka Wikipédia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Languages of Sri Lanka — Several languages are spoken in Sri Lanka within the Indo Aryan, Dravidian and Austronesian families. Sri Lanka accords official status to Sinhala and Tamil. The languages spoken on the island nation are deeply influenced by the languages of… …   Wikipedia

  • Sri Lankan Portuguese Creole — Spoken in Sri Lanka Native speakers 3,406[1]  (date missing) Language family Portuguese Creole Indo Portugu …   Wikipedia

  • Kaffir — may refer to:Islam* Kafir, an Islamic term usually translated as unbeliever similar to the Christian word pagan or Hebrew word koffer . In arabic it means ingrate and refers to someone ungrateful towards Allah.Afghanistan* Kafiristan, the… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.