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Gabriel's Story

File # 4937 of the Tribunal do Santo Ofício of the Inquisição de Lisbon contains records of various Goa Inquisition proceedings against Gabriel, a Muslim of Beta Israel origin who had been enslaved as a child in mid-sixteenth-century Ethiopia, lived for decades in the Arab world, and reached India by the early 1580s. Once there, Gabriel repeatedly crossed the porous border between the Sultante of Ahmadnager and Portuguese India to improve his lot, but eventually he came to the attention of the Goa Inquisition and was twice tried for heresy.
In 2021, my historical reconstruction came to the attention of Janie Cole, Professor of Musicology at the University of Cape Town, who formed the Kukutana Ensamble, a group of talented artists from South Africa, India, Ethiopia and Tanzania, and turned Gabriel’s story into a musical narrative: Gabriel’s Odyssey. Learn more about the project below.


Gabriel's Journeys


Matteo Salvadore, “Between the Red Sea Slave Trade and the Goa Inquisition: the Odyssey of Gabriel, a Sixteenth-Century Ethiopian Jew”, Journal of World History, vol. 31, Issue 2, 2020, 327–360

Article in the Journal of World History

Gabriel's Odyssey premiered in Cape Town on 30 October 2021

The Black Indian Ocean: Slavery, Religion, and Identity (1400-1700)
26 January 2024

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