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Chapter Summary

This index section presents the list of names, terms and concepts discussed in this book on Islamic ships. Two principal questions arise in this work: 1) What information can early and medieval literary and non-literary sources provide about water and seacraft of the Western Indian Ocean and maritime culture in general? 2) How reliable are their data and how far can they help us to understand construction features of vessels and technology? Travel by sea was inherently perilous, with danger coming from both man and nature. In times of greatest danger-when loss of life seems imminent, travelers instinctively return to the superstition of their ancestors. The symbolic meanings of all these motifs may be lost, but their occurrence embodies some spirit or belief which has persisted throughout the history of decorative motifs in maritime culture.

Keywords: Islamic ships; maritime culture; Western Indian Ocean

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