Sailors and Saints Across the Indian Ocean
January 24, 2020 3:48 AM   Subscribe

 
I enjoyed this article, thank you OP, but aaargh, the italicisation of ‘dhow’ was annoying. In English, haven’t we already stolen that word, years ago? It’s a normal word, for a particular variety of boat. Grrr.
posted by pompomtom at 4:42 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


This article was very relevant to my interests and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Seriously though, what a fascinating article. It took me a long time to read because I was looking up the place names on google maps, trying to get a feel for the spatial dimensions of the story, all of them linked by the Arabian Sea (Persian Gulf, Gulf of Kutch) and the Indian Ocean. I was struck by how the in-article photos of the saint's flag and other details denoted something that looked timeless, while the google photos of the Saint's shrine are so absolutely contemporary, unmistakably in the modern world; and then how the voyage and the people, and the history of all the linked sites create this moment of mixed modernity/deep time.

One thing that becomes clear through the photos on google maps is exactly what was highlighted in the article:
In the world of global shipping, the dhow offers a vantage point from which to view religion, society, and economy, as well as living and nonliving beings, as deeply entangled with one another. While seemingly archaic, they are crucial to the workings of global shipping and, hence, of capitalism today.

and The dhow is a heterochrony that holds together the past, the present, and the future.

and They bring these sites into relation with each other, creating a transregionalism that belies national boundaries drawn on land.

Well that's rather deeply relevant to your interests, isn't it, Mrs Potato? Thanks for posting this, the whole site and the rationale behind it look amazing.

Sharjah, UAE (very wealthy and also new, eh);

Hazrat Sayyed Shah Murad Shah Bukhari Dargah (Shah Murad Bukhari's tomb. Note the model boat on the canopy. I'm guessing when the coverlets on top of the coffins are changed the old fabric is what is given to sailors for a flag.)
posted by glasseyes at 11:28 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


I loved your pullquotes. They capture my inchoate inarticulate sense of why this stuff is important though I probably didn't read the article as carefully as you did.
posted by Mrs Potato at 8:34 AM on January 26


Functioning as an economy of arbitrage, dhows quickly adapt to market trends and shifting government policies.

Well that's rather deeply relevant to your interests, isn't it, Mrs Potato?
posted by Mrs Potato at 8:37 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


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