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Les Communautés Indiennes au Burundi Sous Les Colonisations Allemande et Belge

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From the beginning of the 20th Century, Indian traders from the Swahili coast settled on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. In Burundi, their number grew from twenty in 1914 under the German administration, to almost five hundred in 1946 under the Belgians. These young, mobile, mostly male “Indians” were self-employed or worked for firms based in British East Africa. They formed networks based on economic, family and religious ties (Hindus, Muslims, Shiites, in particular Ismailis, Sunnites, Goan Catholics) and had distant relations with the Africans and ambiguous ones with the colonisers. The colonial archives illustrate this demographic and social micro-history. Depuis le début du xxe siècle des commerçants indiens, venus de la côte swahilie, sont établis sur les rives du lac Tanganyika. Au Burundi, ils passent de vingt en 1914 sous l'administration allemande à près de cinq cents en 1946 sous la tutelle belge. Ces « Indiens », à majorité masculine, jeune et mobile, travaillent à leur compte ou pour des firmes installées dans l'Est africain britannique. Ils se regroupent en réseaux à la fois économiques, familiaux et religieux (hindous, musulmans chiites, notamment ismaéliens, sunnites, catholiques goanais), et entretiennent des rapports distants avec les Africains et ambigus avec les colonisateurs. Cette microhistoire démographique et sociale est éclairée par les archives coloniales. Desde o início do século XX, alguns comerciantes, vindos da costa suaile, estabeleceram-se nas margens do lago Tanganyika. No Burundi, eles passam de vinte em 1914 sob a administração alemã para cerca de quinhentos em 1946 sob a tutela belga. Estes « Indianos », de maioria masculina, jovem e com uma grande mobilidade, trabalham por conta própria ou para empresas implantadas na África oriental britânica. Eles agrupam-se em redes ao mesmo tempo económicas, familiares e religiosas (hindus, muçulmanos chiitas, especialmente ismaelitas, sunitas, católicos goeses), mantêm relações distantes com os Africanos e ambíguas com os colonizadores. Esta micro-história demográfica e social está baseada nos arquivos coloniais.

Affiliations: 1: CNRS, Université Paris 1, Centre d'études des mondes africains


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