The Muslim and Portuguese Indian Ocean: A Reappraisal of Cosmopolitanism in the Early Modern Era
This chapter is an attempt to grapple with some aspects of a complex historical textual legacy in several languages, involving two regions of the Indian Ocean, namely the Western coast of India—especially the Konkan and Kerala or Malabar coasts in the Arabian Sea—and the Straits of Melaka. Moreover, it brings out the many intricate issues associated with a perusal, even of a superficial nature, of the origins and trajectories of some texts within the connected histories of the Indian Ocean. It also tries to point out the pitfalls of traditional ways of looking at such texts and moreover indicates how they might be alternatively understood from perspectives that read them together with texts that are normally seen to belong to other canons. I also propose that calling the texts in question “Creole” might help bring out aspects of their production and the social histories in which they are embedded that are not normally emphasized. My point, as will be seen below, is that least some of these aspects may be useful in inserting the texts—and their authors—in larger Indian Ocean connected histories.
KeywordsIndian Ocean Western Coast Trace Linkage Malabar Coast Portuguese Colonial
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