By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has constantly performed a strong function in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays signify a wide variety of techniques to the examine of Southeast Asia with water because the imperative topic. because it was once uncovered to the ocean, the quarter used to be extra available to outdoor political, financial and cultural impacts than many landlocked components. quick access via sea routes additionally motivated exchange. notwithstanding, an analogous quick access made Southeast Asia susceptible to political keep watch over by way of powerful outsiders. the ocean is, in addition, a resource of nutrients, but additionally of many risks. even as, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated by means of "water from heaven" within the kind of rain, flash floods, irrigation water, water in rivers, brooks, and swaps, water-driven strength crops, and pumped or piped water, as well as water as a service of sewage and pollutants. ultimately, the quantity bargains with the position of water in class platforms, ideals, myths, sickness, and therapeutic.
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Extra resources for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
The very nature of their travel, by boat, was accompanied by the introduction of highly developed shipbuilding and navigational skills, and is reflected in mythologies. 15 Exchanges of commodities between ecological zones, and the exploitation of advantageous niche resources, encouraged transactions between groups. Collecting centres, where products were accumulated, have been located in the Malay Peninsula from the first millenium BCE to the early first millenium CE. 16 Given this background, it is not surprising that maritime contacts have a long history, going back more than 2500 years; Arabs were sailing to west India’s Malabar Coast, and Chinese to the adjoining northern regions of modern Vietnam, in the pre-Christian era.
An increasingly wealthy southern China was also turning seaward as the land caravan trade was disrupted. As will be described below, under the 14 Scott 1995, 1998; Aung-Thwin 1998; Sutherland 2001, 2005. Cribb 2000; Bellwood 1999; Manguin 1991; Wolters 1999:179-80; Hall 1999; F. Dunn and L. Dunn 1984. 16 Miksic 1995; Leong 1990; L. Andaya 2000:23. 17 L. Andaya 1993:1-2; see also on cloves in Ptak 1999; L. Andaya 2000; Pearson 1996 and 2003. 15 34 Heather Sutherland T’ang (618-907) and Song (960-1126) dynasties China’s markets drew traders from the west, including the newly emerging Muslim world.
During such periods of theoretical isolation from foreign commerce, official ‘tribute missions’ from overseas were a significant means of exchange, while the enterprising southern provinces of China threw themselves into ‘smuggling’. When Ibn Battuta visited Gujerati Cambay in northwest India in the mid-fourteenth century, he noted the diversity of trading communities there, including a strong Chinese presence. 25 At the end of the fifteenth century the Portuguese sailed into the Indian Ocean, an event which was once seen as marking the abrupt beginning of a new era.
A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories by P Boomgaard