Transregional Trade and Traders: Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean from Early Times to 1900

ISBN : 9780199490684

Edward A. Alpers; Chhaya Goswami
364 Pages
140 x 216 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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Blessed with numerous safe harbours, accessible ports, and a rich hinterland, Gujarat has been central to the history of Indian Ocean maritime exchange that involved not only goods, but also people and ideas. This volume maps the trajectory of the extra-continental interactions of Gujarat and how it shaped the history of the Indian Ocean. Chronologically, the volume spans two millennia, and geographically, it ranges from the Red Sea to Southeast Asia. The book focuses on specific groups of Gujarati traders and their accessibility and trading activities with maritime merchants from Africa, Arabia, Southeast Asia, China, and Europe. It not only analyses the complex process of commodity circulation, involving a host of players, huge investments, and numerous commercial operations, but also engages with questions of migration and diaspora. Paying close attention to current historiographical debates, the contributors make serious efforts to challenge the neat regional boundaries that are often drawn around the trading history of Gujarat.


List of Illustrations and Tables
Edward A. Alpers and Chhaya Goswami
Part One: Historiography, Method, Sources
1. Forty Years On: Gujarat in the Indian Ocean
Edward A. Alpers
2. Gujarat in the History of the Indian Ocean:
Navigating Maritime Pasts
Lakshmi Subramanian
3. Gujarat and Long-Distance Trade in the Indian
Ocean Region before the Sixteenth Century
Philip Beaujard
4. Early Historic Gujarat and the Trading World of the Western Indian Ocean
Himanshu Prabha Ray
5. The Commercial Network of Gujarat in the Light of the Jewish Documentary Geniza (Eleventh-Twelfth Centuries)
Ranabir Chakravarti
6. Reaching across Land and Sea: The Trans-regional Networks of a Local Man
Samira Sheikh
Part Two: Commodities
7. Filling Hearts with Joy: Handcrafted 'Indian Textiles'
Exports to Central Eastern Africa in the Nineteenth Century
Sarah Fee
8. Surat: City of Ivory
Martha Chaiklin
9. Coffee Mocha: From the Highlands of Yemen
to Surat, Muscat, and Mandvi
Chhaya Goswami
10. Ratansi Purshottam, the Gujaratis of Muscat,
and the Global Connectivity of Indian Ocean
Transregional Markets
Calvin H. Allen, Jr.
11. Adjusting Output to Demand: Weavers and
Collateral Service Providers' Equation with the English
Merchants in Gujarat in the Seventeenth Century
Nishat Manzar
Part Three: Trading Networks and Diaspora
12. Gujarati Merchant Diaspora in South East Asia
(Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries)
Ruby Maloni
13. The Deepest Blue Sea: Gujarati Merchant Shipping and the Commercial Currents of the Indian Ocean in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Pedro Machado
14. Merchants and Marts: Gujarat's Networks of Trade in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Radhika Seshan
15. Migration and Creation of New Societies: A Story
from the Indian Ocean
Abdul Sheriff
Notes on Editors and Contributors

About the author: 

Edward A. Alpers is research professor at the Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Chhaya Goswami is head of the Department of History, S.K. Somaiya College, Mumbai, India.

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