Lords of the Sea: The Ali Rajas of Cannanore and the Political Economy of Malabar (1663-1723)

In the second half of the seventeenth century the political and ritual relationships between the various elite houses of the kingdom of Cannanore on the Malabar Coast were affected by the shifting patterns in the Indian Ocean maritime trade. This study shows how the Arackal Ali Rajas, the most prominent maritime merchants in early-modern Malabar, managed to fence off the attempts of the Dutch East India Company to gain control of the regional trade, and how they succeeded in maintaining their commercial network across the Indian Ocean intact.