It is in the tension between the lived present and its history that this chapter will locate itself. That is, this chapter will seek to situate the two diasporic groups under consideration in the interstices of their past and their present. 1 The Siddi community came to India mostly as slaves. Sources place them roughly in Nubia, Sudan, and Ethiopia, however, forced migration was an established practice by the early colonial period in the Saharan region, and it is speculated that some might have come from the Sahel region. 2 Hadramis hail from the Red Sea region of Hadramawt, which is now part of The Republic of Yemen. Migration from Hadramawt was mostly voluntary and for the purposes of trade, religious activity, or both. The Hadramis were instrumental in the spread of Islam along the Indian Ocean Rim and in weaving complex networks of kinship and economic relationships along its port cities. 3