Thursday, September 20, 2007

The nexus of trade and cultural movement between 3 cultures: the Arabian Sea

In an annotated map that told a historic story students sketched the lands around the Arabian Sea.

- Trade winds along the coastline promoted trading voyages.
- Sailors traveled from India to the coast of East Africa.
- East Africans, Arabians, Persians and Indians were linked by trade.
- India supplied jewels and spices.
- The Persians supplied fine goods such as Persian carpets.
- The Arabians offered fine incense (think of the 3 Wise Men's gifts) and dates.
- East Africans had ivory, gold, diamonds.
- Slavery was commonplace.
- Mohandas Gandhi, famous for managing the expulsion of the British from India by non-violent protest (it took 50 years of his life), was raised in the cosmopolitan world of an Arabian Sea port, the city of Porbandor. His skills of diplomacy and understanding were, he said, developed in a community where there was cooperation between Hindus, Muslims, Christians and people of tribal religions.
- The Arab dhow was one of the principal conveyances.

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