The Spice Trade

Since the first millennia, the nation that dominated the sea route to India was the Ethiopians. From their main port of Djibouti they sailed East on the Monsoon to barter for spices which they traded between India and Rome. Cinnamon, Cassia, Cardamon, Ginger, Pepper and Turmeric found their way into the Middle East before the Christian era. Kerala was known as the spice garden of India, and the Mecca for traders and explorers wanting to make their fortunes. For the likes of Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama, Kerala represented the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

By the 7th Century AD, and with the rise of Islam , Arab traders came to dominate this maritime trade route and in 1498, the Portuguese explorer, Vasco Da Gama, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and pioneered a new route to India . This opened the trade to the great powers of Europe and proved to be the catalyst that would ushered in a new age of European domination in the South East Asia and Africa.

Author: Leanne Gammon

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