Book Review-‘Pearls, People, and Power: Pearling and Indian Ocean worlds’ by P. Machado, S. Mullins, and J. Christensen (eds)

By Markus Vink, published January 2021


Although the history of pearling goes back at least 7,000 years, it was not until the late eighteenth century that the fishery began to exert a stronger formative role through the interplay of local and regional political conditions and increasing engagement with the world’s markets and rising pearl prices. The transformative period of the global pearl boom during the ‘long’ nineteenth century ended after the 1920s with the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, the Great Depression, the Second World War, the widespread use of plastics for buttons, and the overexploitation of marine resources. Both books under review here cover the history of pearling in the Indian Ocean World(s) albeit with a distinctly modern Australian twist…

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Filed under: Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Whaling & Fishing

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