Based on substantial ethnographic, textual and archival research, this interesting book offers a new perspective on the anthropology of the western Indian Ocean. Writing in a clear, engaging style, and covering an impressive range of theoretical terrain, Simpson critically explores the relationships between people and things that give life to the region and drive shifting patterns of social change among Muslims in the highly-politicized state of Gujarat.
Scholars of the Indian Ocean, Muslim society in South Asia, and Hindu nationalism, as well as anthropologists in general, will find this a fascinating read and a major contribution to research in this area.
Introduction 1. Kachchh and the Western Indian Ocean 2. The Social Organization of a Port Town 3. Muslim Society 4. Sailors 5. Shipbuilding 6. Seafaring and Islam 7. A Biographical Approach to Islamic Reform. Conclusion