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The Textile Industry in Southeast Asia, 1400-1800

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Author: Kenneth Hall1
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  • 1 Ball State University
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Abstract

This study of Southeast Asia's regional and native textile trade highlights the transitional patterns of textile use in sixteenth and seventeenth century Banjarmasin, an important Borneo coast port-polity in that era's international pepper trade. Cloth was a multi-purpose commodity bearing rich indigenous legacy that served as the point of reference for revised political, economic, and cultural transactions. In the new order that was emerging, upstream and downstream regularized their interactions and shared in a common cultural bond that was defined by cloth. This was a locally meaningful response to the changing economic circumstances of the seventeenth century, and was only in part a reaction to an increasingly assertive European presence in the eastern Indonesian archipelago.

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