Since the end of the eighteenth century, the Al Bu Sa’id empowered the mercantile expansion towards the oceanic coasts of Africa; therefore, within the Western Indian Ocean developed a cultural space represented by continuous migratory flows. During the nineteenth century the ‘dominions’ of Muscat consisted of the island of Bahrain, the coast of Makran, some areas along the Persian coast such as Chah Bahar, the island of Socotra, the islands of Kuria Muria, the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba and adjacent ports of the East African coast from Cabo Delgado to Cape Guardafui. And it was in this very period that the presence of many economic opportunities on the East African littorals was a potent factor which led the Omani Arabs more and more towards Zanzibar. What were described as the ‘lucrative movement of goods’ traded by Oman throughout the Western Indian Ocean comprised every type of merchandise and spice - for the most part precious. To name but a few: rhubarb, borax, ginger, sesame, ivory, tortoise shell, rhino horn, beeswax, opium poppies, exotic animal skins, birds of prey, diamonds, vermilion, gold, horses, raffia, silk - which the Omanis regarded as having protective powers against disease and parasites - castor oil, tamarind, cloves, vanilla, curry, nutmeg, rubber, tropical fruit, Mocha coffee - very much in fashion in Europe at the beginning of the second half of seventeenth century - Chinese ceramics sometimes used as precious containers for dates in Oman, musk from Tibet and China, enormous quantities of ambergris bought on shores of the island of Zanzibar or the nearby islands, considered a delicacy by the Omanis who even put it in the sorbets!
|Numero di pagine||31|
|Rivista||Middle East Studies Association Bulletin|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2003|
- Indian Ocean