Storyboard: Indian Ocean Trade


Storyboard: Indian Ocean Trade
Originally uploaded by anselm23.

I’ve gotten interested in trade on the Indian Ocean between 1000 BC and 1990 AD. Turns out that it’s really rather an interesting story, involving Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Indonesians, Africans, Muslims, Persians, Portuguese, Spanish, British and Americans. It’s really pretty ugly in places, quite beautiful in others. It’s a story of science, mathematics, geography, history and language. I’ve no idea how to tell it properly, but I’m making a start on it by designing this storyboard, at left, to figure out how to turn it into a podcast or an animated video. It’s going to be hard, and I’m trying to figure out how to get my students to help. If they can help, it’s going to be really cool. If they don’t, and I do it on my own, it’s going to be really hard.

12 comments

  1. Interesting topic to latch onto!
    A corollary topic is that of waves of religious influence through the area.
    I don’t remotely expect that you will tackle that as well but your notion made me think of my visit to Cochin, India.

    There is an historic synagogue and jewish community there that hangs on by it’s fingernails and pays very careful attention to emigration back and forth with their fellows in Israel to make sure they maintain the historic continuity. They have an interesting history of having been granted special privileges and have many significant artifacts.

    It was also an interesting history bit to discover that St Thomas landed/preached/converted there and established a really early Christian community there before he moved eastward and ultimately was martyred.
    The part that was prompted by your thoughts was that when the Portuguese traders came to the area (to conquer, of course) they brought with them the standard missionary zealots ready to convert the Heathens. When they discovered that there were already believers things hit the fan because they were believing the wrong version of events! Thus began christian persecution of christians in southern India for having the nerve to believe St. Thomas.
    I found these criss-crossing religious developments fascinating in themselves but to walk into the synagogue and church and feel the strength of the Traditions and the determination and pride of the existing communities was amazing.

    ok, so a random chat path. thanks for allowing my reminiscences 🙂

  2. Interesting topic to latch onto!
    A corollary topic is that of waves of religious influence through the area.
    I don’t remotely expect that you will tackle that as well but your notion made me think of my visit to Cochin, India.

    There is an historic synagogue and jewish community there that hangs on by it’s fingernails and pays very careful attention to emigration back and forth with their fellows in Israel to make sure they maintain the historic continuity. They have an interesting history of having been granted special privileges and have many significant artifacts.

    It was also an interesting history bit to discover that St Thomas landed/preached/converted there and established a really early Christian community there before he moved eastward and ultimately was martyred.
    The part that was prompted by your thoughts was that when the Portuguese traders came to the area (to conquer, of course) they brought with them the standard missionary zealots ready to convert the Heathens. When they discovered that there were already believers things hit the fan because they were believing the wrong version of events! Thus began christian persecution of christians in southern India for having the nerve to believe St. Thomas.
    I found these criss-crossing religious developments fascinating in themselves but to walk into the synagogue and church and feel the strength of the Traditions and the determination and pride of the existing communities was amazing.

    ok, so a random chat path. thanks for allowing my reminiscences 🙂

  3. Seems like that might be fun to make a boardgame out of a-la History of the World style. Maybe you pay points to be the technological leader in a given era of history and you go around exploring and settling while other players (from the previous rounds) try and fend you off as long as possible. Once the counter ticks down and the next era goes up the role of the next technological leader is up for bids (with last round’s leader unable to bid?). Something like that.

    later
    Tom

  4. Seems like that might be fun to make a boardgame out of a-la History of the World style. Maybe you pay points to be the technological leader in a given era of history and you go around exploring and settling while other players (from the previous rounds) try and fend you off as long as possible. Once the counter ticks down and the next era goes up the role of the next technological leader is up for bids (with last round’s leader unable to bid?). Something like that.

    later
    Tom

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