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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Passengers, Partnerships, and Promissory Notes: Gujarati Traders in Colonial Natal, 1870-1920
Author:Vahed, Goolam
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
colonial history
mercantile history
History and Exploration
Urbanization and Migration
Economics and Trade
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40033966
Abstract:Based on archival material, this paper examines Gujarati trade in colonial Natal, from 1870 to 1920. Migrants from Gujarat on the west coast of India began arriving in the 1870s and were geographically dispersed throughout Natal. They were termed 'passengers' because they came of their own free will and at their own expense, and were subject to the ordinary laws of the Colony. While passengers were numerically too small to alter the overall working-class character and low-income status of Indian settlers, they aroused the ire of whites as a result of their dominant role in Indian social, political and economic life. This paper explores aspects of the business lives of these Gujarati traders, including their sources of commercial and economic information, the involvement of their extended families, their relationship with African clients, and their busines structures and practices. The study is set within the broader economic and politico-institutional processes in colonial Natal that influenced the opportunity structures of immigrant enterprise. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]