Drawing on archival sources, The Call of the Sea examines the significant role played by Kachchhi traders in connecting Muscat and Zanzibar to the thriving emporiums of Bombay and Mandvi. It provides an insight into the business environment and sophisticated sea-trade network in the western Indian Ocean that existed in the nineteenth century. Kachchhi entrepreneurs carried on a flourishing trade in ivory and cloves, among other products. They also acted as bankers and financiers, and operated an effective credit network for Indian mercantile communities. The maritime history of the mercantile communities from Kachchhi is interwoven with the history of the littoral societies of Muscat and Zanzibar.
Dr Chhaya Goswami is an independent scholar based in Mumbai, and was a lecturer in Elphinstone College, Mumbai.
Marriam Dossal, Retired Professor of History, University of Mumbai