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The Social World Of Fort Cochin

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the institution of marriage and the role it played in the lives of VOC servants. It also examines the social and economic relationships of Company servants in Fort Cochin. While some Mestizos lived inside the fort and others outside, Malabar merchants such as the Jews, Chetties, Konkani merchants, and others were a common sight at Calvetty, the port of Cochin adjoining the fort walls. A look into Christian life-cycle rituals, like baptism, marriage, and burial, which were both personal as well as public in nature, gives us a glimpse of the social networks of a few people living in Fort Cochin. Since the public institutions were spaces of interaction among the different people, focussing on them gives further insight into the interactions and distances between different subgroups in the society of Fort Cochin.

Keywords: Fort Cochin; Jews; Malabar merchants; Mestizos; VOC servants

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