Beyond Bukhara: trade, identity and interregional exchange across Asia

Marsden, Magnus (2018) Beyond Bukhara: trade, identity and interregional exchange across Asia. History and Anthropology, 29 (Sup1). S84-S100. ISSN 0275-7206

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This article explores the nature of inter-Asian trade dynamics through a consideration of the role played by traders from northern Afghanistan’s Central Asian borderlands. It explores the role that traders from this region have played in commercial exchanges involving China, the Arabian Peninsula and a range of settings in West Asia. In addition to documenting the inter-Asian scope of these traders’ activities, the article also addresses the shifting nature of their identity formations in relationship to successive waves of migration. The traders often identify themselves in relationship to ethno-national identity categories (Turkmen, Uzbek and Tajik) that are politically salient in Central Asia and Afghanistan today. At the same time, the traders also emphasise their being from families that migrated from the territories of the Emirate of Bukhara during the early years of communist rule in the 1920s and 1930s. In the context of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, many of these families moved from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, often staying for several years in cities and towns in Pakistan. Over the past three decades, Central Asian émigré families have increasingly established their businesses and communities in the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey; they also run offices in the trading cities of maritime China.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Trade; Afghanistan; Bukhara; Turkey; Saudi Arabia; China; Inter-Asia; Identity
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Asia
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS327 Central Asia
D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS350 Afghanistan
Depositing User: Magnus Marsden
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 09:37
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 08:51

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