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Sailing the Monsoon Winds in Miniature (Paperback)

Understanding Indian Ocean Boat Models

P&S History > Archaeology > Maritime Archaeology, Ships & Shipping

Imprint: British Museum Press
Series: British Museum Research Publications
Pages: 180
Illustrations: 175 illustrations
ISBN: 9780861592302
Published: 15th January 2023
Casemate UK Academic

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Models of non-European watercrafts are commonly found in museum collections in the UK and throughout the world. These objects are understudied, rarely used in museum displays and at risk of disposal. In addition, there are several gaps in current understanding of traditional watercraft from the Indian Ocean, the region spanning from East Africa through to western Australia. Using models of a range of boats from 13 museum collections throughout the UK, this book considers the value of these objects for both researchers and museums. The book explores how models can help us to understand traditional boats and boat-building practices, some of which no longer exist. Two case studies investigate a number of ideas about the physical attributes of these objects and how representative they are of full-size vessels. In addition, the wider cultural processes and contexts of the models are considered, including ideas about collecting, miniaturisation and the iconic symbolism of watercraft. The aim of this publication is to encourage the use of models of boats from the Indian Ocean and throughout the world in future studies of traditional watercraft. At the same time, the research presented here will help museums to re-evaluate the significance of model boats in their collections, and to use them in displays in the future to explore a range of narratives.

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