The workshop “Mobility in Yemen and the Indian Ocean in the Medieval Period” will be jointly organized by two groups: Group B01 “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems” and Group A02 “Changes in the World of Islamic Thought and Knowledge”.
Date & Time: August 6, 2021, 14:00–16:00
Tamon Baba (Ritsumeikan University/B01)
“Mobility in Yemen and the Indian Ocean in the Medieval Period”
Discussant: Ikuko Wada (Okayama University/A02)
Venue: Online meeting via Zoom, Open to public/Admission free, Pre-registration is required.
Pre-registration: Please use the form for pre-registration.
Co-organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems” (Principal Investigator: Nobuaki Kondo (ILCAA); 20H05827)/Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Changes in the World of Islamic Thought and Knowledge” (Principal Investigator: Jin Noda (ILCAA); 20H05825)
Contact: Madoka Morita (mmorita[at]aa.tufs.ac.jp)
In this workshop, Professor Baba introduced his work on the Rasūlid Dynasty (1229–1454) and discussed how the dynamics of multidirectional human mobility, commodity distribution, and information circulation unfolding in medieval Yemen bear relevance to the study of the international trade and relations in the maritime world—one of the main topics under exploration by the research group B01 “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems”. In a departure from the existing literature that tends to focus exclusively on Yemen’s port city of Aden in the context of Indian Ocean trade, Professor Baba’s research explores the Rasūlid Dynasty in its own right, shining a light on multifaceted aspects of this dynasty and its networks built across and beyond this particular region. His detailed analyses of the distribution of certain commodities such as incense and ghee, the Rasūlid court’s cuisine and food consumption, and the people moving to and from Yemen offer a crucial insight into the ways in which people, commodities, tastes, and information continually circulated, Rasūlid power and its extent of influence, as well as the nature of this medieval polity.
After a brief revision of the key terminologies such as “state”, “port polity”, “trade”, and their Japanese equivalents, Professor Wada touched upon a recent revisionist trend of focusing on the extent to which indigenous polities had already controlled trades and merchants before European expansion, which has long been viewed as a major turning point in the maritime history of Indian Ocean.