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

Edward A. Alpers (Editor) Chhaya Goswami (Editor)

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.

Contents: Introduction/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/Philippe 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.

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About the author

Chhaya Goswami

Dr Chhaya Goswami is an independent scholar based in Mumbai, and was a lecturer in Elphinstone College, Mumbai. 

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Bibliographic information

Title Transregional Trade and Traders: Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean from Early Times to 1900
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.02.2019
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199490684
length 408p.