Indian Ocean Trade and Social & Cultural Change AN AGE OF ACCELERATING CONNECTIONS ( )

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1 Indian Ocean Trade and Social & Cultural Change AN AGE OF ACCELERATING CONNECTIONS ( )

2 After 1200 there was an expansion of trade in the Indian Ocean, why? Rising prosperity of Asia, European, & African states Growth of luxuries for the wealthy (rare spices, precious metals) Construction of larger ships, which allowed a profit to be made from carrying ordinary cotton textiles, grains, horses, & pepper.

3 The Indian Ocean trade network was divided into two legs (Middle East to India & then India to SE Asia), rarely did ships make a full route. Most cargo travelled in junk ships; however a large dhow could sail from the Red Sea to mainland SE Asia in two or four months. dhow junk Often dhows (traditionally used around the Arabian Sea) would be used in the west while goods were then transferred in junks in the east.

4 The trade network was decentralized, rather than being controlled by political authorities, a spirit of cooperation ruled over each party s commercial interests (Ex: East Africa supplied gold, Arabia shipped horses, India added to this mix everyone needed each other).

5 In Africa rising prosperity was visible in the city of Kilwa along the east coast. Numerous city states emerged with multi story masonry buildings replacing mud structures. Arabic and Iranian visitors were impressed with the devout & pious Muslims, but were mostly attracted to the area inhabited by people they called Swahili for gold.

6 Most of the gold was mined inland and farther south, such as from the city Great Zimbabwe. Although farming was its economic base, the city state made its wealth from trade. The stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are one of the most famous historical sites in sub Saharan Africa.

7 On the Arabian peninsula, the city of Aden also benefited from increased trade. It became a convenient stopover for trade between India, the Persian Gulf, East Africa, & Egypt. (Merchants in Aden sorted goods from one location and sent them off on their next leg).

8 In western India the state of Gujarat benefited from commerce as well as exporting manufactured items (unlike Kilwa & Aden). They exported cotton textiles and leatherworks in return for gold, silver, slaves, & ivory.

9 Between Indonesia and SE Asia is the straight of Malacca. In the 14 th & 15 th centuries (1300s & 1400s) what was once an obscure fishing village, Malacca became an important port city. It served as a meeting point for a variety of traders traveling between India & China (Around 1500, one person s account estimated 84 languages were spoken there).

10

11 Many merchants also served as agents for converting people to Islam. This persuasion approach was much more effective than forced conversion. Single merchants married local women (sometimes 4 wives) and thus proliferated Islam.

12 The spread of Islam affected the social and cultural life of people of the tropics. Arabic words (ex: Sahara, Swahili, monsoon) were added to local vocabularies African Muslims and even Hindu temples began to reflect Islamic designs in their architecture In sub Saharan Africa the spread of Islam coincided with the spread of literacy (as more people learned to recite the Quran) Islamic invasions practically destroyed what was left of Buddhism.

13 In Timbuktu (West Africa city) by 1500, over 150 Islamic schools opened. Books became profitable. (Wealthy Europeans would often send their kids there for a better education). Malacca & Delhi also became Islamic learning centers.

14 An increase in slavery also occurred during this period of expanding trade. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu infidels were forced into slavery from Islamic military conquests Mali sent slaves across the Sahara to North Africa Ethiopian (which was Christian) expansion generated more and more captives for sale to Aden However, some slaves were trained for special purposes such as in the trades or military, allowing a select few to rise socially (ex: a slave general seized control of the Songhai Empire in Africa).

15 Generally the condition of women was below that of men. For instance, they were not allowed to play an active role in commerce or administration. In Islamic territories women were expected to veil themselves (ex: one account from Ibn Battuta expresses disgust when he saw a Muslim woman holding a conversion with a man she was not related to). However, in India there was some improvement (the sati became optional, and arranged marriages took place only when girls were ready. )

16 Women played a vital role in food preparation in the tropics. In Africa they made beer from grains & bananas In Africa & Asia they toted loads of food, water, and firewood on their heads They made clay pots In West Africa they sold foodstuffs in markets

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