The Ali Rajas of Cannanore: Status and Identity at the Interface of Commercial and Political Expansion (1663-1723)
Graduation: Leiden University, Faculty of Arts, 12 December 2007.
Promotors: Prof. Dr. J.L. Blussé van Oud-Alblas and Dr. Jos Gommans
The Malabar port-city of Cannanore, was one of the foremost commercial and political centres of the early-modern Indian Ocean world-economy.
During the seventeenth century it became increasingly dominated by the so-called Arackal Ali Rajas, a local dynasty of Muslim merchants-cum-rulers, who, apart from Cannanore proper, controlled an extensive trading network across the Arabian Sea.
Firstly, this project aims to study the ongoing interaction between the Ali Rajas' commercial operations and their position as Muslim rulers of Cannanore port city.
Secondly, it will investigate this interaction as translated in social and communal terms, and more specifically, in the context of (a) the rising tension between the 'Muslim' Ali Rajas and the inland 'Hindu' rulers, the Kolathiris of Kolathunadu, and (b) the emergence and increasing interference of the Dutch and English East India Companies.
Dr. Jos J.L. Gommans
Dr. Pius Malekandathil