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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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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 August 2018

Merchants from India and Their Gift Practices in Yemen

Merchants from India and Their Gift Practices in Yemen

(p.85) Three Merchants from India and Their Gift Practices in Yemen
Shipped but Not Sold

Nancy Um

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the gift practices of the major merchants from India that traded in Yemen, distinguishing them from those of the Europeans. It argues that their offerings must be situated within the accepted reciprocal codes of social interaction and visitation that dominated in the Islamic world, such as the awarding of robes of honor and fine horses. Moreover, the elaborate spectacles and presentations surrounding these yearly gifts, which were visually impressive, exceeded the value of the gifts themselves, inscribed within a language of public display. These bestowals were not only consumed by their intended recipients, but also by those who observed their conveyance and passage, which were awe-inspiring in their size and scope.

Keywords:   gifts, robes of honor, horses, ceremonial, Indian merchants, diplomacy, embassies

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