Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorKabir, Nahid Afrose
dc.identifier.citationKabir, N. A. (2009). The culture of mobile lifestyle: Reflection on the past - the afghan camel drivers, 1860-1930. Continuum, 23(6), 791-802. doi:10.1080/10304310903302201en_US
dc.descriptionThis review was published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs [© 2014 Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.] and the definite version is available at The Article's website is at
dc.description.abstractIn modern times when we speak of a mobile lifestyle we think of backpackers, fruit pickers, tourists, bikies or people living in caravans. Some people, of course, deliberately choose such a lifestyle. In the context of the historical past, of the people who moved in and out of this place - Kalgoorlie (our conference venue) - one group in particular had a very mobile lifestyle, though not by choice. I refer to the Afghan camel drivers who came to Australia for economic reasons. They mostly arrived as single men and assisted the explorers in their expeditions, and contributed to the development of the infrastructure of the Australian outback. The camel drivers steered the camels, 'the ships of the desert', that carried water tanks out to the mining areas such as Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie and other areas where water was scarce. The camels also carried wool bales and boxes of merchandize from one part of Australia to another. And they carted sleepers for the construction of railway lines from Perth to Coolgardie, and materials for the development of the Overland Telegraph Line in South Australia back in 1870-1872. The mobile nature of the lives of the Afghan camel drivers never permitted them to stay in one place for long. The Afghans were predominantly Muslims. They retained their culture and religion in such a harsh lifestyle. In this paper I examine the pattern of their mobile lifestyle from 1860 to 1930 and discuss their identity when they were with other ethnic groups, conflict when they faced resistance and their outspoken nature when they were regarded as the 'other'. Finally, I consider their loyalty to their Australian employers (and explorers). This paper relies on both primary and secondary sources, including oral testimonies.en_US
dc.publisher© 2009 Taylor & Francis.en_US
dc.subjectSocial cohesionen_US
dc.titleThe culture of mobile lifestyle: reflection on the past - the Afghan camel drivers, 1860-1930en_US

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record