By P Boomgaard
Water, in its many guises, has continually performed a robust position in shaping Southeast Asian histories, cultures, societies, and economies. those essays symbolize a huge diversity of ways to the examine of Southeast Asia with water because the primary subject. because it was once uncovered to the ocean, the zone was once extra available to outdoors political, financial and cultural impacts than many landlocked components. quick access via sea routes additionally motivated exchange. in spite of the fact that, an analogous quick access made Southeast Asia prone to political keep watch over by means of powerful outsiders. the ocean is, furthermore, a resource of meals, but additionally of many risks. while, Southeast Asian societies and cultures are faced with and permeated by way 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 provider of sewage and pollutants. ultimately, the quantity offers with the position of water in category structures, ideals, myths, disorder, and therapeutic.
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Additional info for A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories
But the old image of a powerful Portuguese state ruling the seas has been abandoned in favour of that of a ramshackle system of maritime extortion. This system was relatively successful along the east African coast and western India, including the Gulf of Cambay, which controlled access to the rich Gujerati ports. The Portuguese were also quite powerful in the waters immediately around Malacca. But the Arabian Sea remained open to other traders, while the Portuguese were weak in the Bay of Bengal, and largely irrelevant east of the Strait of Malacca.
Allister McGregor 1998 ‘Sustainability of a fishery in southern Thailand’, in: Victor T. ), Environmental challenges in South-East Asia, pp. 283-304. Richmond: Curzon. Mitchell, Michael 1998 ‘The political economy of Mekong Basin development’, in: Philip Hirsch and Carol Warren (eds), The politics of environment in Southeast Asia; Resources and resistance, pp. 71-89. London/New York: Routledge. ), The gift of water; Water manage ment, cosmology and the state in South East Asia, pp. 26-46. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
But such a shift in focus is only a beginning, albeit a good one. We should not concentrate on the Bay of Bengal or the South China Sea exclusively, because they derive much of their importance from the waters beyond. The Bay of Bengal opens into the Indian Ocean to the south, offering access not Pluvier 1995:3; Cribb 2000. There is an overwhelming literature on Indian Ocean history; for introductions see Pearson 2003; Das Gupta and Pearson 1987; Chaudhuri 1990; McPherson 1993; Risso 1995; Tagliacozzo 2002.
A world of water: rain, rivers and seas in Southeast Asian histories by P Boomgaard
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