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Rafai Fakirs, Hyderabad - No.2

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Rafai Fakirs, Hyderabad - No.2

More glimpses of the Muslim sect’s self-mutilation practices, filmed in late-1920s India

Amateur film 1929 3 mins


Warning: this film contain very explicit images of self-mutilation that you may find disturbing. This is the second of four films shot by E.H. Hunt on the veranda of his bungalow as part of his research into the self-mutilation practices of the Rafai Fakirs, a Muslim sect in Hyderabad, southern India. In this film we see tongue and cheek piercing as well as skull hammering and eyeball gouging. Not for the faint hearted!

Edmund Henderson Hunt (1874-1952) was Chief Medical Officer of the Nizam's State Railway, Hyderabad, southern India, from 1903-31. Hunt’s papers and photographs relating to the Rafai Fakirs can be found in the National Archives.