[Book] Spirits and Ships: Cultural Transfers in Early Monsoon Asia

New book from ISEAS press

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.

Source: Spirits and Ships: Cultural Transfers in Early Monsoon Asia | bookshop.iseas.edu.sg

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

3 thoughts on “[Book] Spirits and Ships: Cultural Transfers in Early Monsoon Asia”

  1. Noel,

    Been waiting for this book all my adult life–glad you finally wrote it!

    Is it available in e-book format?

  2. Hi Dr Rogers, it is not my book, but one edited by Acri and Blench and publised by ISEAS. I’m sure they will be happy with your interest 🙂

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