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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2228] (745/1262)

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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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fish, cook, look after [the pipes and coffee, and attend to other minor
The Ghasahj whose only work is to dive^ are mostly poor Arabs and
free negroes or negro slaves ^ but Persians and Baluchis are also to be
found among them^ and^ in recent years, owing to the large profits
made by divers, many respectable Arabs have joined their ranks. The
efficiency of a diver depends more on his skill and daring than on tlie
strength of his constitution,—the last being a point on which undue
stress has sometimes been laid by waiters upon pearling; and a slaye
diver who is not afraid to enter deep and muddy water containing
weeds is ordinarily valued at considerably over Rs. 1,000. The Siyub,
whose duties are merely to manage the boat and to lower and pull up
the divers, are usually landsmen or ex-divers whom age or other causes
have obliged to abandon diving.
The total crew of a pearl boat varies from 10 to 40 men, the average
number being about 16 for the whole Gulf. The number of the Ghasah
is generally less than that of the regular Siyub in the same boat, standing
to it in a proportion of 10 to 11, 12 or even more; the reason of tWs
arrangement is that, if a diver were to be thrown out of work for want
of a hauler, the loss would be greater than the expense of carrying a few
extra Siyub. These extra Siyub, who must not be confounded with the
Radhafah, are called Jalalis or a Sitters 3> (singular, Jallas
All sorts of boats are now used for pearling, even jolly -boats being
in these days fitted out for the purpose, but the majority are Sambuks;
and after the Sambuk come, in order of frequency, Batils, Baqarahsand
Shu ais. A pearl boat of the largest dimensions, to carry 40 men, costs
Rs. 30,000 or more to construct and fit out.
Soaaons. There were formerly, and are still, two recognised seasons for tbe
conduct of pearling operations at sea ; but their incidence has changed
in recent times.
Thirty years ago the earlier season was the Ghaus-al -Bard
or f Cold Diving which began at the middle of April and continued
for 40 days. During the Ghaus-al-Bard the operations were confined to
shallow water, and the coldness of the sea obliged the divers to work in
alternate half-hour shifts.
The next, which has always been the principal season and is called
the Ghaus-al-Kabir^CJI or Great Diving", formerly beganm
June after the end of the Shamal and lasted till the end of Septembei,
now, however, it begins at the middle of May and continues for 1^0 days,
that is until about the middle of September; the beginning of this season
is known as the Rakbah, and the end as the Quffal or " Closing
The times of beginning and ending of the Ghaus-al-Kabir are not exactly
hxed and they are liable to be affected by the month of Ramadhan, when
Vk a * L 111 llot , weatlie r, as diving is prohibited during the fast. &
1906 the Ghaus-al-Kabir of the Bahrain fleet lasted from the 16th
Mayto the 1 8th of September, with an interval of 5 days which began
on the 22nd of August.
The second season is now the Raddah al or ^ Return,
comnaences a few days after the conclusion of the Ghausral-K

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' [‎2228] (745/1262), 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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