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Beginning in 1856 and ending in 1876, Portuguese colonial authorities in Mozambique registered almost 55,000 enslaved and freed Africans (libertos). The sources for these twinned registration processes are located in the national archives of Portugal and Mozambique. Fragments of the originals survive for only six of the ten districts of the colony, but contemporary copies exist for nearly all districts. Combined, they provide a unique opportunity to understand both the extent of slavery — as opposed to the export slave trade — and the process of abolition in late-nineteenth-century Mozambique. In this article we first describe the registers themselves, then focus on the registration of enslaved and freed Africans, the resistance of slaveholders, and the kinds of information that we can glean from the registers. We also explore the ways in which freed Africans were employed after registration and the extent to which being a liberto implied ‘freedom’. Finally, we consider how the registration led to new laws and policies in Portuguese Africa, opening a new era of European colonialism and imperial expansion.
This chapter explores how punitive mobility expanded the reach of convicts’ political beliefs, including the ideologies for which they had been punished. The first section of the chapter employs examples from the Dutch and English East India companies, and the Danish-Norwegian empire, from the seventeenth century onwards, the chapter traces the spread of resistance to imperial governance in the early-modern period by people subjected to punitive mobility, including through religious practice. The second section centres on the history of penal transportation and servitude in Ireland, revealing its global dimensions, and foregrounding its relationship to convict unrest in Britain’s hulks and penal colonies. Finally, the chapter suggests that there were important continuities between insurgency, politics, and religion in the Spanish Empire and its successor nation states, including in Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. Overall, the chapter also reveals some of the ways in which penal colonies became sites of cosmopolitanism and cultural transformation. If convicts carried political ideologies to their punitive destinations, their mobility also facilitated cultural and religious dissemination, adaptation and transformation. Thus, punitive mobility was a vector for community formation, nationalism, and resistance to the changing geopolitical formations created by empires.
This article presents and discusses a source of unique importance for our knowledge of early modern global exchanges. Produced in 1503 by the Egyptian administration and found among the records of a Venetian company with global commercial interests, the document records hitherto unknown connections between the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, followed by cargo figures. By sending the Memorandum to the head office in Venice, the Company's agents in Egypt were labouring to solve the most important concern of Venice's information network, that of coordinating Indian with Mediterranean trading seasons. By analysing the document's context, namely, a company involved in the export of central European metals to Asia, this article focuses on the capacity of its agents to gather information through collaboration, networking and ultimately, friendship with Muslim partners and informers. The story of the 1503 Memorandum and its transmission raises questions about the mixed networks underpinning global exchanges, the role of information and the drive of the late Mamluk sultanate into the world of the Indian Ocean.
This article traces the history of one geographical concept, hinterland, through changing political contexts from the 1880s through the 1970s. Hinterland proved a valuable tool for states attempting to challenge the global territorial order in both the Scramble for Africa and the postwar world of nation-states. In the context of German territorial demands in East Africa, colonial propagandists used hinterland to knit together the first longue-durée histories of the Indian Ocean to cast Zanzibar as a failed colonial power and win control of the coast. In the 1940s, Indian nationalists revived hinterland as a concept for writing about the Indian Ocean, utilizing the concept to link areas far from the ocean to an informal Indian empire that could be rebuilt to its premodern glory through naval expansion. In both contexts, hinterland provided a geographical framework to challenge British dominance on the Indian Ocean. The shifting meaning and usage of the term indicates continuities in territoriality between the Scramble for Africa and postwar internationalism.
If world literature is conceived as a network of transregional, multi-local and transnational nodes stretching back to antiquity, oceanic worlds can be seen to offer a generative frame for literary history. The world’s oceans gird the shores of cities, nations, islands and continents. They generate contact zones that are multilingual, demographically mixed, economically varied and culturally hybrid. Further, much like world literature, the historicity of the oceans can scarcely be contained within the temporality of transatlantic capitalism from the eighteenth century to the present. This chapter explores literary works across several oceanic zones and offers oceanic comparativism as a rich cartographic frame for world literature.
This chapter considers what happens to the cartography of ‘world literature’ in times of mass migration and indefinite detention. It focuses on contemporary literature by and about refugees and asylum seekers, using the distinction between emic (written from the perspective of the subject) and etic (written from the perspective of the observer) narratives. It turns to representations of refugees in ‘hospitable’ narratives, such as graphic narrative and contemporary novels, and questions the ethics of recognition in humanitarian storytelling. In a case study of Behrouz Boochani’s autobiographical novel No Friend But the Mountains, a paperless text ‘thumbed’ by a Kurdish Iranian asylum seeker on a smartphone in Farsi at the remote detention centre on Manus Island, PNG, and translated by a transnational authorial assemblage of human and nonhuman agents, it considers how new technologies now transform the possibilities for a literature from the camps in the borderlands where refugees and asylum seekers are detained.
The marginal case of the decolonisation of Comoros has gained little attention from historians of Africa. By tracing the evolution of the Mouvement de libération nationale des Comores (MOLINACO) around East Africa's Indian Ocean basin, this article explores the possibilities and constraints of anticolonial organisation among a diaspora population whose own existence was threatened by the more exclusive political order that emerged from the process of decolonisation. In Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Madagascar, MOLINACO's activities were shaped and limited by contested issues of racial identity, island genealogy, partisan alignment, and international priorities among both the Comorian diaspora and their ‘host’ governments. Through a transterritorial approach, this article examines the difficulties for minority communities in navigating the transition from empire to nation-state, while also illustrating the challenges MOLINACO faced in its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to impose that same normative model onto the archipelago.
The study of pre-modern (i.e. pre-sixteenth century) systems of enslavement and slave trading in sub-Saharan Africa have relied heavily on textual, especially Arabic, sources. By contrast, there have been few archaeological studies of these phenomena, although reference is often made to the Trans-Saharan and Red Sea/Indian Ocean slave trades in archaeological studies of early state formation and globalisation on the continent. This chapter provides a brief review of some of the key written sources concerning the presence of slaves in different regions of sub-Saharan Africa between c. 500-1500 CE, and what these can tell us about prevailing systems of enslavement. This is followed by discussion of the limited number of archaeological studies of enslavement during this same period across the continent, their main findings and the key interpretative challenges faced when trying to detect the presence of slaves from material evidence alone. The chapter concludes with suggestions for the direction of future work, laying emphasis on the need for multi-sited projects that aim to reconstruct landscapes of enslavement and how slave-based economies were organised and functioned.
While the Indian Ocean slave trade is at least 4,000 years old, there are three historical periods when this trade expanded significantly: at the turn of the common era (ca. 1st c. CE), the tenth to thirteenth centuries, and the nineteenth century. This chapter analyzes the ebb and flow of the slave trade in the western Indian Ocean and Red Sea region during the medieval millenium, beginning with an evaluation of how the expansion of Muslim societies impacted slavery. The regions discussed include the west coast of India, East Africa, Yemen and Arabia, Ethiopia, Nubia, and Egypt. The roles of urban markets and island entrepôt in the slave trade are discussed as well as the roles played by smaller polities along imperial frontiers. Large-scale wholesale slave trading was uncommon in the medieval Indian Ocean world. Instead, merchants generally trafficked in small numbers of enslaved people as part of larger mixed cargoes of luxury goods and other commodities. Finally, the chapter assesses recent genetics research that is relevant to tracing the movements of people through the regions of the medieval Indian Ocean.
This article argues that we need to move beyond the “Atlantic” and “formal” bias in our understanding of the history of slavery. It explores ways forward toward developing a better understanding of the long-term global transformations of slavery. Firstly, it claims we should revisit the historical and contemporary development of slavery by adopting a wider scope that accounts for the adaptable and persistent character of different forms of slavery. Secondly, it stresses the importance of substantially expanding the body of empirical observations on trajectories of slavery regimes, especially outside the Atlantic, and most notable in the Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago worlds, where different slavery regimes existed and developed in interaction. Thirdly, it proposes an integrated analytical framework that will overcome the current fragmentation of research perspectives and allow for a more comparative analysis of the trajectories of slavery regimes in their highly diverse formal and especially informal manifestations. Fourth, the article shows how an integrated framework will enable a collaborative research agenda that focuses not only on comparisons, but also on connections and interactions. It calls for a closer integration of the histories of informal slavery regimes into the wider body of existing scholarship on slavery and its transformations in the Atlantic and other more intensely studied formal slavery regimes. In this way, we can renew and extend our understandings of slavery's long-term, global transformations.
Despite the growth of studies on slavery and slave trade outside the Atlantic world in recent years, especially in the early modern Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago worlds, our knowledge of regional price levels and their development remains surprisingly underdeveloped. This article questions how the price of enslaved people developed in the multi-directional and multi-faceted Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago slave trade, how this compared to the Atlantic world and what this tells us about slave trade and slavery in different parts of the world. Drawing on evidence from a large variety of sources, mainly from the Dutch Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago world, this article expands the body of data significantly and provides for the first time a reconstruction of the level of slave trade prices and their development in several important supplying and demanding slave trade regions in the Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago world and compares these to the development of slave prices in the Atlantic slave trade.
The Maldives Heritage Survey was established to document cultural heritage vulnerable to human and environmental threats in the Maldives. An open-access online database is being produced to inform academic studies, support heritage-management plans and create a permanent archive of digital heritage resources.
Myanmar is occupied by the N-wards continuation of the Sunda arc and by the Shan Plateau and its continuation through Yunnan into Tibet. Our new tectonic interpretation of the ophiolite–flysch belts, world-famous jadeite and tin deposits in Myanmar west of the Salween adopts previous proposals that, before 450-km post-early Oligocene dextral displacement along the Sagaing Fault, the ophiolite belt in NE Myanmar continued through the topography that is now located west of the fault in the Indo-Burman Ranges. Differences in cross-section through Mogok and the Shan Scarps are reconciled by the recently proposed emplacement, in our view during Permian time, of the Mogok Metamorphic Group onto the Slate Belt to form Sibumasu. We argue that during Early Jurassic time a Neo-Tethys ophiolite nappe was obducted over turbidites on Sibumasu’s passive western margin. Following reversal in tectonic polarity, the remaining Neo-Tethys subducted E-wards generating the 113–128 Ma Mondaung Arc. During ocean closure the Victoria–Katha Block and its Triassic flysch subducted beneath Sibumasu, resulting in jadeite veins in overlying serpentinite that ascended in the subduction zone and were exhumed at Hpakant and Nat Hmaw, bordering the Jade Mines Uplift. Subduction of the Indian Ocean since Albian time generated the Popa–Loimye arc, while extensional faulting led to uplift of the Indo-Burman Ranges and to the formation of the Western Tin Belt granites. Tectonic effects in Myanmar of the India–Asia collision may be confined to the Disang thrust belt in the Naga Hills.
In February of 1960, the most powerful cyclone in Mauritian history, Carol, made landfall. In its wake, the British colonial state embarked on a reconstruction effort that would reshape the island for decades to come. This study examines how Afro-descendant Creole Mauritians understood Carol at the moment of its landfall and produced social meaning in the reconstruction efforts that followed. It sheds light in particular on the construction of cités, ‘cyclone-proof’ housing estates meant to permanently shelter those left homeless, at a moment when questions of racial coexistence defined debates over the end of empire. It shows that the building of the cités and the prospect of home ownership they allowed would become important touchstones in contemporary Afro-Mauritian notions of belonging and permanence in a society structured by racial exclusion. In so doing, this essay emphasizes the importance of the natural world to narratives of diasporic community in the southwest Indian Ocean.
The Lakshadweep archipelago constitutes a major coral region of India but still lacks sufficient biodiversity data owing to its remoteness and a low number of faunal studies in the past. The present paper describes two new Pseudoceros species collected from Agatti Island, Lakshadweep, India. Pseudoceros bipurpurea sp. nov. and Pseudoceros galaxea sp. nov. are described based on external and internal characters, supported with histological studies and photographs. Pseudoceros bipurpurea sp. nov. is characterized by a cream background colour and an orange median line surrounded by dense patches of purple spots, which tend to disperse and broaden towards the posterior end. Pseudoceros galaxea sp. nov. displays a brown background colour with numerous white to cream dots covering almost the entire dorsal surface and a thin black margin. This study adds two new species to the polyclad fauna in Indian waters, raising the count to 68 species. An updated checklist of polyclads from Indian coast is also provided.
Sedimentological, geochemical, and paleontological investigations of the coastline of northeastern Oman have provided the authors with an in-depth insight into Holocene sea levels and climate conditions. The spatial distribution and species assemblage of mangrove ecosystems are analyzed. These ecosystems are sensitive to changes in sea level and precipitation and thus reflect ecological conditions. The close proximity to archaeological sites allows us to draw conclusions regarding human interaction with the mangrove ecosystems. Our interdisciplinary inquiry reveals that the mangrove ecosystems along the east coast of Oman collapsed ~6000 cal yr BP on a decadal scale. There is no sedimentological evidence for a mid-Holocene sea-level highstand. The ecosystem collapse was not caused by sea-level variation or anthropogenic interferences; rather, it was the consequence of reduced precipitation values related to a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. This resulted in a decrease of freshwater input and an increase in soil salinity. Further, the aridification of the area caused increased deflation and silting up of the lagoons.
Crenidens macracanthus was originally described in 1874 based on a single specimen collected from Chennai (Madras), south-east coast of India. In 1875, the species was synonymized with C. indicus without citing any valid reason. Since then, no taxonomic studies have been attempted for the genus Crenidens, except in 2013 the species was resurrected from synonymy and redescribed as a valid species based on the holotype and non-type specimen. In view of the fact that C. macracanthus is a poorly known species, it is redescribed based on examination of 30 additional specimens of 105.8–162.2 mm SL, collected from Puri, Odisha, north-east coast of India (Bay of Bengal) from 2017–2019, using morphological and molecular examinations. Our study provides a detailed morphological description, first colour photographs and phylogenetic analysis using COI barcodes of the species. The study has expanded the range in several morpho-meristic characters in comparison with the type and non-type specimens described earlier. The species in fresh condition can be easily distinguished from its two congeners (C. crenidens and C. indicus) by the yellowish tip of the lower caudal-fin lobe. Our study has also extended the distribution range of C. indicus (previously known only from the north-eastern Arabian Sea) to the eastern Indian Ocean, based on examination of a preserved specimen collected from Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.