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Indian Ocean Basin. 600-1200 Post Classical Age: 1 st Phase. What regions (zones of development) will this include?. Indian Subcontinent Innovative Site – Indo- Gagnetic Plain Vedic Age Maurya & Gupta Empires. South Asia East Africa Southeast Asia. New Zone of ‘Civilization ’

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indian ocean basin

Indian Ocean Basin


Post Classical Age: 1st Phase

what regions zones of development will this include
What regions (zones of development) will this include?

Indian Subcontinent

Innovative Site –

Indo-Gagnetic Plain

Vedic Age

Maurya & Gupta Empires

  • South Asia
  • East Africa
  • Southeast Asia

New Zone of ‘Civilization’

Mainland and Island

Links to South China Sea

New Zone of ‘Civilization’

Horn of Africa

Red Sea Connections

Sub-Saharan locations

why the indian ocean basin

Why the Indian Ocean Basin?

How is its development important for our understanding of World History?

what is the nature of the governments working this trade

What is the nature of the governments working this trade?

Politics in the Indian Ocean Basin


south asia crisis of late antiquity
South Asia: Crisis of Late Antiquity

White Huns from central Asia invaded and disrupted Gupta rule after 550…

  • India’s only degree of central political unity –the Gupta Kings - ceased to exist

Political make-up of South Asia

a divided subcontinent
a divided subcontinent


  • Political turbulence
  • Intermittent war
  • Assimilation of new invaders


  • More peaceful
  • politically fragmented
  • Dominated by loosely controlled kingdoms…
  • Chola(850-1267)
  • Cultural Indianisation of parts of Southeast Asia
  • Roots of Tamil Identity
sub saharan africa

Outside the West….

Sub-Saharan Africa…

Tribal Communities influenced by outside contacts


Christianity in Africa

  • Ethiopia 4th Century
  • Kingdom of Axum
  • Isolated from other Christian communities
  • Increasingly reflected African traditions
    • Evil spirits populate the world
further south swahili trading city states
Further South: Swahili Trading city states
  • >1,500 miles from Mogadishu in the north to Sofala in the south
  • 1000 to 1500 -prosperous towns and cities
  • evolved from small agricultural villages to create surpluses for trading
  • created an elite merchant class (merchant oligarchy*)
  • *Aristocratic nobles
southeast asia

Southeast Asia

Civilization Spreads



    • Mekong
    • Irrawaddy
    • Red
    • Chao Phraya
  • South China Sea
  • Straits
    • of Malacca
    • of Sunda
  • Archipelago
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Mountains/Highlands?
  • Rainforests
  • Monsoons

pages 378 - 381

southeast asian development
Southeast Asian Development
  • Characterize Geography (Location, Place, Interaction peo./env., Movement, Region)
  • Beginnings of Civilization? Unique traditions?
  • Discuss extent and timing of Indian Influences.
  • Discuss extent and timing Chinese Influences.
  • What major political entities dominate the region in the 1st phase of the Post Classical Age?
  • What changes were taking place by 1200?
southeast asian development1
Southeast Asian Development:
  • Indian Influences
    • Adopted administrative and cultural traditions of India
      • Hinduism & Buddhism
      • Embrace Hindu literature: encouraged shared values
  • Unique to Southeast Asia
  • Origins unclear- Bronze metallurgy
  • language
  • Women’s rights
  • Nuclear Families
  • Cultivation of spices
  • Chinese Influences
  • Chinese border: Vietnam- Tributary State
    • Civil service
    • Bureaucracy
    • Buddhism
    • Confucianism
political development evidence
Political Development & Evidence
  • City States modeled after Indian Administration, gave way to a degree of centralization



Trung Sisters

Rebellion in Classical Age – Han Period

changes by 1200 looking forward
Changes by 1200…looking forward
  • Arab traders
  • Introduction of Islam, among island regions


Lynda Shaffer

  • In what way does Shaffer’s interpretation challenge traditional views about historical development?
  • In what way does Shaffer’s interpretation support our tradtional understanding of westernization and ‘the rise of the West’?
ibn batutta


Journey to far parts of the

Post Classical World


Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354

I left Tangier, my birthplace, on Thursday, 2nd Rajab 725 [June 14, 1325], being at that time twenty-two years of age [22 lunar years; 21 and 4 months by solar reckoning], with the intention of making the Pilgrimage to the Holy House [at Mecca] and the Tomb of the Prophet [at Medina].

I set out alone, finding no companion to cheer the way with friendly intercourse, and no party of travelers with whom to associate myself. Swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a long-cherished desire to visit those glorious sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my friends and tear myself away from my home. As my parents were still alive, it weighed grievously upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow.

On reaching the city of Tilimsan, whose sultan at that time was Abu Tashifin, I found there two ambassadors of the Sultan of Tunis, who left the city on the same day that I arrived. One of the brethren having advised me to accompany them, I consulted the will of God in this matter, and after a stay of three days in the city to procure all that I needed, I rode after them with all speed. I overtook them at the town of Miliana, where we stayed ten days, as both ambassadors fell sick on account of the summer heats. When we set out again, one of them grew worse, and died after we had stopped for three nights by a stream four miles from Miliana. I left their party there and pursued my journey, with a company of merchants from Tunis.

understanding the traditions and contributions of the indian ocean basin

Understanding the traditions and contributions of the Indian Ocean Basin

Religion, Gender and Family

Arts and Intellectual Life

Labor Systems

Racial and Ethnic Constructions

In Battuta's Footsteps…

putting it all together



Putting it all together…





In the absence of singular central governments, what brought this region together, and what were the consequences of these connections?


Travel & Trade



Monsoon Winds

Lateen Sails

  • Larger ships could access longer routes and bigger cargo
    • Dhows (Indian)
    • Junks (Chinese)

India served as middle – ground

    • Cities: Cambay, Calicut, Quilon
    • Storage, clearinghouse
    • Cosmopolitan centers:(Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist)

Urban Development

Cosmopolitan centers

Cosmopolitan Islamic cultural centers in East Africa- Swahili city states: Moghidishu, Kilwa, Sofola





Political fragmentation did not prevent production & trade between states

  • Most agricultural regions self-sufficient
    • Millet, wheat, barley, rice

Production & Specialization

  • Population growth (India) expansion of irrigation & surplus farming
    • 600 CE 53 million people
    • 1500 CE 105 million people
  • Productive growth led to…increasing specialization
    • Iron, copper, spices- Indian specialization (cotton textiles, sugar refining)
  • In East Africa:
  • ivory from the south,
  • gold from the western interior
  • frankincense and myrrh from northern Africa.
  • (Prosperous Slave trade)
hindu temple economy
Hindu Temple Economy

Served as economic and social centers

Ultimately, crucial to success of economy

  • basic schooling for boys
  • Ensured caste rules

large agricultural lands

Employed hundreds of people

Delivered tax receipts to local government

Served as bankers &cooperated with merchant guilds

indian ocean slave trade
Indian Ocean Slave trade
  • Evolved around the Indian Ocean basin
  • Slaves were taken from interior mainland East Africa by coastal ‘elite’ Africans
  • Origins in 2nd century, lasted until the early 20th century
  • Peak and spread of trade occurred in Post classical Period as part of Arab trade routes
  • Sold in markets in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf
cultural diffusion and integration

Cultural Diffusion and Integration

Recognizing Differences

khmer kingdom
Khmer Kingdom

Peak - 9th to 13th Century

Hindu & Buddhist Traditions

Angkor (city) served as seat of power

  • Angkor Wat
    • Temple complex
    • Built in 12th Century
    • first Hindu - dedicated to the god Vishnu
    • Later replaced by Buddhist followers
    • high classical style of Khmer architecture

Religious Communities

  • Heavily Islamicized communities
    • coastal merchants
    • Part of Islamic conquests
  • Animistic, Hindu and/or Buddhist traditions
india introduction of islam
INDIA: Introduction of Islam
    • Religion of Invaders, but no incentives from Muslim Conquerors

Conversion to Islam developed slowly overtime…

    • Merchant communities, through marriages, economic incentive
  • By 1500 – 25% of South Asians were Muslim,
  • Lower Caste levels (conversion en mass)- not effective in changing status
  • Promise of salvation in Islam attracted Hindus & Buddhists

Merchantson ‘the rise’

Diffusion & Integration

Gender Roles & Social Constructions

Diffusion & Integration

Merchant Guilds in India

Merchant Aristocracy in East Africa

Trading Kingdoms in SEA

  • Swahili (Arab & Bantu)
  • Animistic & Islamic
  • Islamic Mosques, Hindu Temples or Buddhist Stupas???
  • Gender Expectations as part of Religious Beliefs?

Cultural Blending & Religious Conversions

india converging ethnicities expanding caste
India: Converging ethnicities, expanding Caste

Adaptation of South Asian Culture

  • Caste regulations extended into far parts of subcontinent
  • Migrating peoples added to sub-caste levels – assimilation within a few generations
  • Merchant/artisan jati–emerged as powerful new caste (Merchant guilds)
    • Wealthy
    • Political power
cultural blending in east africa
Cultural Blending in East Africa

Food & Dress

Swahili Identity

  • Complex : African or Asian?
  • African in ethnic origin
  • Arab and/or Indian in culture

Storytelling, poetry & literature

Music, art, painting

gender studies
Gender Studies…

Local traditions/experiences mixed with established protocols

  • Hindu Traditions…
  • Law of Manu
  • Bhakti Poets
  • Family life central to Dharma
  • Women as Mother & Wife
  • Bhakti – rebellious

Racial & ethnic Inter-marriage

Limited Dowries

Marriage as temporary arrangements


indian ocean basin1

No ‘big government’ to lay claim to success…

Diversity & Continuity

Diffusion & Integration

Economic Prosperity & Innovation

Roots of Modern development, maybe?

Indian Ocean Basin