© 2019

Knowledge and the Indian Ocean

Intangible Networks of Western India and Beyond

  • Sara Keller

Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xli
  2. Sara Keller
    Pages 1-15
  3. Knowledge, Science and Techniques

  4. Skill, Migration and Identities

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 259-266

About this book


This volume examines Western India’s contributions to the spread of ideas, beliefs and other intangible ties across the Indian Ocean world. The region, particularly Gujarat and Bombay, is well-established in the Indian imaginary and in scholarship as a mercantile hub. These essays move beyond this identity to examine the region as a dynamic place of learning and a host of knowledge, tracing the flow of knowledge, aesthetic sensibilities, values, memories and genetic programs. Contributors traverse the fields of history, anthropology, agriculture, botany, medicine, sociology and more to offer path-breaking perspectives on Western India’s deep socio-cultural impact across the centuries. Western India emerges as a pivotal region in the maritime world as a transmitter of knowledge.


Gujarat trade markets in the Indian Ocean maritime networks of Western India knowledge transfer African diaspora forced migration cross-oceanic connections Zoroastrian water management early knowledge transfer in the Indian Ocean Eastern Africa borderland history Western India Thalassology Chinese ceramics history of Islam Gujarat Ornamental Furniture East African Indian merchants Sufis in Gujarat Swahili language Shyamji Krishnavarma

Editors and affiliations

  • Sara Keller
    • 1
  1. 1.Orient et MéditerranéeParisFrance

About the editors

Sara Keller is a building archaeologist at the research center Orient et Méditerranée, France. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Knowledge and the Indian Ocean
  • Book Subtitle Intangible Networks of Western India and Beyond
  • Editors Sara Keller
  • Series Title Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-96838-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07260-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-96839-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XLI, 266
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 23 illustrations in colour
  • Topics World History, Global and Transnational History
    Asian History
    African History
    Social History
    Cultural History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This is a path-breaking collection of essays that brings alive the rich cultural, economic and political life of Western India over the centuries. More importantly, it informs us of the critical relevance this history has to our understanding of the world of the Western Indian Ocean that is predominantly framed within the story of Western capitalism and imperialism. A fascinating array of histories that will delight the historian as well as the casual reader.” (Seema Alavi, Professor of South Asian History, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India)“This volume is not just an addition to the existing and expanding scholarship on Gujarat and the Indian Ocean, but an innovative intervention that charts bold new conceptual trails. These bring out the vitality of Gujarat as a major actor in the configuration of the Indian Ocean World. The volume in more ways than one establishes beyond doubt the richness of emerging scholarship by academics and public historians.” (Lakshmi Subramanian, Professor of History, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, India)