Spirits	and	Ships:	Cultural	Transfers	in	Early	Monsoon	Asia	(Who	Were	the	First	Malagasy,	and	What	Did	They	Speak?)
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Spirits and Ships: Cultural Transfers in Early Monsoon Asia (Who Were the First Malagasy, and What Did They Speak?)

by Alexander Adelaar

This volume seeks to foreground a borderless history and geography of South, Southeast, and East Asian littoral zones that would be maritime-focused, and thereby explore the ancient connections and dynamics of interaction that favoured the encounters among the cultures found throughout the region stretching from the Indian Ocean littorals to the Western Pacific, from the early historical period to the present. Transcending the artificial boundaries of macro-regions and nation-states, and trying to bridge the arbitrary divide between (inherently cosmopolitan) high cultures (e.g. Sanskritic, Sinitic, or Islamicate) and local or indigenous cultures, this multidisciplinary volume explores the metaphor of Monsoon Asia as a vast geo-environmental area inhabited by speakers of numerous language phyla, which for millennia has formed an integrated system of littorals where crops, goods, ideas, cosmologies, and ritual practices circulated on the sea-routes governed by the seasonal monsoon winds. The collective body of work presented in the volume describes Monsoon Asia as an ideal theatre for circulatory dynamics of cultural transfer, interaction, acceptance, selection, and avoidance, and argues that, despite the rich ethnic, linguistic and sociocultural diversity, a shared pattern of values, norms, and cultural models is discernible throughout the region.

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Product Details

  • Publisher : ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
  • Product Code : 9789814762779C10

About Author

Alexander Adelaar

Alexander Adelaar is a principal Fellow in the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne. His research is about the structure and history of Austronesian languages in West Indonesia and Malaysia, Madagascar and Taiwan.