Lascars and Indian Ocean Seafaring, 1780-1860 (Worlds of the East India Company) by Aaron Jaffer
English | 2015 | ISBN: 1783270381 | 288 pages | PDF | 2 MB
Lascars were seamen from the Indian subcontinent or other countries of the Indian Ocean who were employed on European ships from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. They came from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and often worked in gangs, overseen by a serang. Lascars were employed on less advantageous terms than European sailors, and, because sensitivity towards their particular cultural, dietary and religious backgrounds was needed,but not always forthcoming, from European officers, there was considerable scope for friction. This book, based on extensive original research, examines the activities and role of lascars, focusing in particular on protest in itsvarious forms, from mild unrest to outright mutiny, which in extreme cases involved the murder of European officers and the seizing of ships and their cargoes. The focus is on mutiny and protest because it is only through the records of British East India Company courts, which sometimes tried cases involving ships from other European countries besides Britain, that lascar activities at sea become visible and lascar voices heard. The book through the study of mutiny and other forms of protest thereby reveals full and interesting details of shipboard life overall for lascars in this period.
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