An innovative collection of essays that foregrounds specific cargoes as a means to understand connectivity and mobility across the Indian Ocean world.
Scholars have long appreciated the centrality of trade and commerce in understanding the connectivity and mobility that underpin human experience in the Indian Ocean region. But studies of merchant and commercial activities have paid little attention to the role that cargoes have played in connecting the disparate parts of this vast oceanic world. Drawing from the work of anthropologists, geographers, and historians, Cargoes in Motion tells the story of how material objects have informed and continue to shape processes of exchange across the Indian Ocean.
By following selected cargoes through both space and time, this book makes an important and innovative contribution to Indian Ocean studies. The multidisciplinary approach deepens our understanding of the nature and dynamics of the Indian Ocean world by showing how transoceanic connectivity has been driven not only by economic, social, cultural, and political factors but also by the materiality of the objects themselves.
Edward A. Alpers
Fahad Ahmad Bishara
Lisa Jenny Krieg
Preface (JULIA VERNE)
Introduction. Cargoes in the Indian Ocean World: A Thematic and Methodological Introduction (BURKHARD SCHNEPEL)
PART I: CARGOES IN THE MAKING
Chapter 1. Brilliant Cargoes: Pearls, Shell, and Exchanges of Marine Products in the Indian Ocean (PEDRO MACHADO)
Chapter 2. The History of Southern Red Sea Salt in Indian Ocean Trade STEVEN SERELS
Chapter 3. The Flow of Bohea: The Tea Trade in the Indian Ocean World (Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries) (KUNBING XIAO)
Chapter 4. The Journey of Cloves: Historical Trajectories and New Dynamics of Organic Labeling on Zanzibar (RUPERT NEUHÖFER AND HANNAH PILGRIM)
PART II: ON BOARD
Chapter 5. Giraffes and Elephants: Circulation of Exotic Animals in the Longue Durée History of the Indian Ocean World (TANSEN SEN)
Chapter 6. Cattle on the Hoof: The Mozambique Channel Provisioning Trade in the Nineteenth Century (EDWARD A. ALPERS)
Chapter 7. Paper Cargoes, Mobile Histories: A View from the Twentieth-Century Dhow (FAHAD AHMAD BISHARA)
Chapter 8. An Enduring Measure of Twelve Thousand Cowries: The Materialities and Life Histories of a Well-traveled Marine Product (EVA-MARIA KNOLL)
PART III: CARGOES IN USE
Chapter 9. Arab Perfumes and the Indian Ocean Trade in Animal-Derived Aromatics: The Case of Civet (HANNE SCHÖNIG)
Chapter 10. When Gecko Tails Travel from Island Forests to Laboratories: From Materiality to Information in Scientific Cargo (LISA JENNYKRIEG)
Chapter 11. From Cargo to “Inalienable Possessions”: Beads and Beadwork in Penang (MAREIKE PAMPUS)
Chapter 12. The Elephant with the Seven Tusks: Maritime Commodities in East Indonesian Clan Houses and Marriage Cycles (KARL-HEINZ KOHL)
Burkhard Schnepel is a professor of social anthropology at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. From 2013 to 2020, he was head of the Connectivity in Motion: Port Cities of the Indian Ocean fellows group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. He is the author of The King’s Three Bodies: Essays on Kingship and Ritual and a coeditor of Travelling Pasts: The Politics of Cultural Heritage in the Indian Ocean World.
Julia Verne is a professor of cultural geography at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, where she leads a research group on mobility, materiality, and maritimity, with a focus on the western Indian Ocean. Her publications include Living Translocality: Space, Culture, and Economy in Contemporary Swahili Trade and several articles discussing the Indian Ocean as a relational space.
“This volume addresses an important and thus far somewhat understudied topical focus in the field of Indian Ocean studies: the material things that actually traversed the ocean as shipments facilitating and realizing trade and creating various kinds of (often long-sustained) meaningful interaction on different littorals. The result is a unique and stimulating selection of carefully worked case studies, which together make a significant contribution to the growing field of Indian Ocean studies.”
“Burkhard Schnepel and Julia Verne’s Cargoes in Motion is a wide-ranging, thought-provoking, and timely addition to Indian Ocean studies. Contributors to the volume employ diverse approaches to material exchanges, including new lines of inquiry and the critical reconsideration of well-known objects of exchange. An innovative collection that makes important conceptual and empirical contributions to multiple fields, Cargoes in Motion deserves a wide audience.”