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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2227] (744/1262)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (1165 pages). It was created in 1915. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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oi lbs. to 71 lbs. the hundred, Zanni shells from 5 lbs. to 20 lbs. the
hundred, and Sadaifi sheiis from a few ounces to 7 lbs. each. The shells
of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. ^ yst r usually exhibit a dark colour like that of
"smoked pearl " about the edges, and they are said to be easily distin
guishable from the " silver-lipped ^ shells of India.
Organisation and working of the pearl fisheries on the Arabian
Having taken account of the physical data of the industry, we
proceed to enquire into the manner in which it is organised and
prosecuted. The persons actually connected with the fisheries may be
divided into two classes, namely financiers and operatives.
The money required to equip the pearl fleet for sea and to maintain Financiers,
the crews while employed on boards is partly advanced from private
means by those interested in the operations and partly borrowed from a
U) w
special class called Musaqqams (plural, Musaqqamin ).
The Musaqqam is generally a man of substance, but some Musaqqams,
who have not sufficient capital of their own, conduct their business by
meant of loans which they obtain for the season from wealthy Arab or
Indian merchants at 10 to 25 per cent, interest. The manner in which
the debts of operatives to financiers and of financiers to capitalists are
adjusted will be described further on, but the different forms of contract
prevalent among them are too numerous and too complicated to be
detailed. Formerly the hold of the Musaqqam class upon the industry
was very strong, and many boats were fitted out with their assistance ;
but their position is no longer what it was, and their numbers are
dwindling. In Bahrain, it is said, there are now only 3 Musaqqams
(2 Baharinah and 1 a Sunni Arab), and not more than 10 per cent, of the
Bahrain fleet have dealings with them. Once even Indian merchants
did not despise the profession of Musaqqam.
The general term for the pearl fishery is Ghaus (literally ci ass0g 0 f
"diving"), and all the classes that take part in the active operations operatives,
are included under the common denomination of Ghawawls
(singular, Ghawwas ).
The unit of organisation is the boat's crew, and within this unit the
chief personage is the Nakhuda (plural, Nawakhidah or
captain, in whom full authority and entire responsibility are vested.
TheNakhuda is, in 7 or 8 cases out of 10, the owner of the boat which
he commands ; but sometimes he is the hirer of the boat, or again he
inay be merely an employe of the boat owner. N ext in importance to
frie Nakhuda are the Ghasah (singular, Ghais 011 4f Divers,
followed by the Siyub (singular, Saib ) or " Haulers. One
w more Radhafah (singular, Radhif ) or extra hands arc
generally carried to assist the haulers, and sometimes a Walaid
(plural, Aulad ) or apprentice is taken, whose duty it is to catch

About this item


This volume is Volume I, Part II (Historical) of the Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , ’Omān and Central Arabia (Government of India: 1915), compiled by John Gordon Lorimer and completed for press by Captain L Birdwood.

Part II contains an 'Introduction' (pages i-iii) written by Birdwood in Simla, dated 10 October 1914, 'Table of Chapters, Annexures, Appendices and Genealogical Tables' (pags v-viii), and 'Detailed Table of Contents' (ix-cxxx). These are also found in Volume I, Part IA of the Gazetteer (IOR/L/PS/20/C91/1).

Part II consists of three chapters:

  • 'Chapter X. History of ’Arabistān' (pages 1625-1775);
  • 'Chapter XI. History of the Persian Coast and Islands' (pages 1776-2149);
  • 'Chapter XII. History of Persian Makrān' (pages 2150-2203).

The chapters are followed by nineteen appendices:

Extent and format
1 volume (1165 pages)

Volume I, Part II is arranged into chapters that are sub-divided into numbered periods covering, for example, the reign of a ruler or regime of a Viceroy, or are arbitrarily based on outstanding land-marks in the history of the region. Each period has been sub-divided into subject headings, each of which has been lettered. The appendices are sub-divided into lettered subject headings and also contain numbered annexures, as well as charts. Both the chapters and appendices have further subject headings that appear in the right and left margins of the page. Footnotes appear occasionally througout the volume at the bottom of the page which provide further details and references. A 'Detailed Table of Contents' for Part II and the Appendices is on pages cii-cxxx.

Physical characteristics

The foliation sequence is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. It begins on the first folio with text, on number 879, and ends on the last folio with text, on number 1503.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2227] (744/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

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