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Labor And Production: Indian Textiles

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Chapter Summary

That the definition of value of commodities is culturally and morally embedded may be said with even more force than for bullion for another commodity of global trade of the eighteenth century: Indian textiles. The chapter then turns to the demand for textiles in East Africa, which were exported to the Mrina Coast because these were the current money there. The turns to what in the literature on the Indian textile industry is the most controversial and perhaps even emotive issue namely that of weaver's poverty. Because labor had such a marked status factor, if there was a lack of a particular kind of laborer, it did not follow that others could easily be engaged to do the same work. The labor market was segmented. Thus, lascarins would under no circumstance do koeli work as this was considered demeaning.

Keywords: East Africa; Indian textiles; koeli work; labor market



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