Trade and Contemporary Society along the Silk Road by Jacqueline H. Fewkes
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Routledge (August 8, 2011)
This book provides an ethno-historical study of the trade system in Ladakh (India), a busy entrepôt for Silk Route trade between Central and South Asia. Previously a part of global networks, Ladakh became an isolated border area as national boundaries were defined and enforced in the mid-20th century. As trade with Central Asia ended, social life in Ladakh was irrevocably altered.
The author's research combines anthropological, historical, and archaeological methods of investigation, using data from primary documents, ethnographic interviews and participation-observation fieldwork. The result is a cultural history of South and Central Asia, detailing the social lives of historical Ladakhi traders and identifying their community as a cosmopolitan social group. The relationship between the historical narratives and the modern ethnographic context illustrates how social issues in modern communities are related to those of the past. It is demonstrated that this relationship depends on both memories, narratives about the past constructed within present social contexts, and legacies, ways in which the past continues to shape present social interactions.
About the Author
Jacqueline H. Fewkes is an Assistant Professor at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University. Her research interests are in the anthropological study of cultural change, historical transnational networks, and globalization. She has recently begun a new project in the Maldives.