Australia’s Muslim Cameleers


Pioneers of the Inland 1860s-1930s

Between 1870 and 1920 as many as 2000 cameleers and 20,000 camels arrived in Australia from Afghanistan and northern India. Australia’s Muslim Cameleers: Pioneers of the inland 1860s-1930s is a rich pictorial history of these men, their way of life and the vital role they played in pioneering transport and communication routes across outback Australia’s vast expanses.  Many of the images and artefacts in this fascinating account are published here for the first time, and the book contains a biographical listing of more than 1200 cameleers.

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“This book is about the often-forgotten Muslim cameleers, known as ‘Afghans’, who came to Australia between the 1860s-1930s to ply Australia’s inland routes.  It was realised that camels were far more efficient and able to carry heavy loads in the harsh conditions of inland Australia than horses and bullock-teams.  The camels needed expert ‘drivers’ to guide them.  These pioneering cameleers became an integral part of the exploration and transportation systems in arid Australia.  Many were Muslim, but they did not come to spread Islam.  Rather, they constructed small mosques in the outback Australian towns, and later the larger cities, and quietly kept to themselves.

Revised Edition





Additional information

Weight 1.025 kg
Dimensions 28.5 × 21.4 × 1.7 cm


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