Crafts And Commerce In Orissa
The study of the primary sources has enabled the author to bring to light the interesting features of indigenous crafts and craftsmanship, of skilled trade and growth of economy, and of social status and life-style of the people of Orissa in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Traditionally ?hsts? were the important venue of economic activities and barter system was an accepted medium of economic transactions of the social arrangements. Cawries used as money could freely interchange with rupees. Without the knowledge of modern economic principles the self diverse ways adopted in crafts and commerce enabled the people to overcome obstacles from the path of proper distribution of production. The traditional craftsmanship with limited resources remained busy at production and provided variety of items viz., textile, agricultural produces etc., for a skilled trade world. The Portuguese were the first to explore the possibilities of trade in this region. The experienced native merchants ungrudgingly participated with the Portuguese traders. They, with their vessels of merchandise, visited the sea ports of Bantam, Pegu, Tennaserim, Achin, Jeddah etc. the noted centres of trade during this period. Seventeenth century witnessed tremendous progress in the field of textile and shipbuilding industry. Apart from the Portuguese, the English, the Dutch, the French and the Danes were frolic and active, and established their settlements for trade. The book reveals Orissa? overseas trade with, Ceylon, Indian Archipelago, Persia, England and other countries of the world. The book shows that trade in this part of India was considered highly prized. High ranking Mughal officials, native Zamindars and men of riches-all ship owers-unhesitatingly entered into the arena of trade. The dimension of trade-structure increased beyond imagination. Besides external trade, Orissa?s very close trade relations with Bihar, Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Gujarat, Agra and Srinagar were on a wide scale.
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