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Cloths Of A New Fashion: Indian Ocean Networks Of Exchange And Cloth Zones Of Contact In Africa And India In The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the particularities that structured the chains of relation connecting Gujarat in northwestern India to East-Central and South-East Africa between the second half of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century. It suggests that one way to redress this partial view of western Indian Ocean history and bring Africans into the narrative is to explore the interrelation between East- Central and South-East Africa, and Gujarat and western India as regions with connected Indian Ocean histories. The chapter considers the place of Gujarati Vāniyā networks operating from the territories of Diu in Kathiawar (western Gujarat), and to a lesser extent Daman located south of Surat, in the chains that connected African consumers and Indian producers. The analysis of the importation of Indian textiles into Africa has paid little or no attention to issues of supply and production in India.

Keywords: Africa; Gujarat; India; Indian Ocean; Vāniyā networks



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