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Shipped but Not SoldMaterial Culture and the Social Protocols of Trade during Yemen's Age of Coffee$
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Nancy Um

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866402

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866402.001.0001

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Rites of Entry at the Maritime Threshold

Rites of Entry at the Maritime Threshold

Chapter:
(p.25) One Rites of Entry at the Maritime Threshold
Source:
Shipped but Not Sold
Author(s):

Nancy Um

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824866402.003.0002

This chapter delves into the ceremonial receptions that the local administration of the port of Mocha staged to welcome high-profile merchants when they arrived in the harbor from their extended sea journeys. The ceremonies involved drummers, musicians, flags, and parades of decorated horses as well as the appearance of the city’s notables splendidly dressed in imported textiles to welcome new arrivals at Mocha’s jetty. It argues that these welcome rituals were not just empty, extravagant displays of pomp. Rather, they constituted a requisite stage of commercial initiation when the local maritime administration, in addition to other merchants, vetted and sized up new arrivals. Material objects, such as flags, sumptuous robes, Arabian horses, various items of reception, and architectural spaces, played a key role in this process of selection and the conferral of local approval.

Keywords:   merchants, ceremonial, ritual, flags, horses, domestic architecture, stimulants, aromatics, ceramics, Mocha

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