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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Agency and Muscat Political Agency for the year 1883-84.’ [‎52r] (43/166)

The record is made up of 1 volume (87 folios). It was created in 1884. It was written in English. 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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6
EESIDENCY A.ND MUSCAT POLITICAL AGENCY An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. FOE 1883-84.
41
" ratab " is taken, its skin is removed by the date-leaf spine; then the coarser but soft layer
of the pnlp; finally the white firm pnlp which is left round the stone is further detached and
collected in small earthen pots. The mass is rendered more palatable by adding to it a
quantity of pistachio and almonds, &c. This is considered a great delicacy.
ft Khoorma Post-kandah," the skinned date.—This can be prepared from all the good
varieties of dates, but it is generally made from the Hilali. As above, the skin of the fresh
"ratab" is removed by the date spine, the stone is pushed out by the same; the fleshy part is
gathered and packed in large earthen pots.
" Moorabba Khoorma" (date preserve).—The ripe "Kharak of Hilali," i.e., before they have
become "ratab" (soft and juicy), are taken; portions from both ends are sliced off; they are
then deeply punctured all over by the date spine and well dried in the sun. The stone is
sometimes replaced by almond or pistachio. The " Kharak" thus treated is boiled in sugar
syrup to a sufficient consistence, and forms an excellent preserve, and may be bottled and kept
for any length of time.
(c Matgoogah."—The sweet and fresh " Kharak" is broken up and dried in the sun for five
or six days. It is then pounded in a wooden mortar; the powder is put in boiling date juice
and mixed with sesame seeds and flavoured with cardamoms, cinnamon, &c. The whole mass
is then well stirred while boiling, and removed from the fire and further well mixed up, and
finally put in jars for use.
The second form in which the date fruit is cured for commercial purposes is the " Kharak
pookhta," the boiled date. It is prepared as follows
When the " Kharak " has become sweet, but before it has begun to soften, the spadix, with
its load of dates, is cut off from the palm and immersed in large copper pots of boiling water,
in which it is allowed to remain for a time, which is decided by the man engaged to do the
work. It is stated that the boiling is continued until the stone assumes a reddish colour ; when
the bunches are removed and exposed to dry in sun on mats for eight or ten days; they are
then detached from the spadix, allowed to dry further, and finally put in bags for export.
The fruit of all the varieties of the date palm can thus be converted to " Kharak-pookhtah,"
which is dry, fir m , and even hard, and does not relish so much as the " Khoorma, which is soft
and juicy. This may perhaps account for the small quantity of " Kharak" usually prepared.
At Busrah " Kharak-pookhtah " is prepared in small quantities from Baraim, Sa'Ameran,
Kabkab, jMaktoom, and Shakar. Baraim yields the best quality, and is said to be wholly
converted into Kharak, as it does not ripen beyond the " Kharak " stage ; its price being two
or three times more than that of Sa'Ameran Kharak, which is also abundant.
The best " Kharak-pookhtah " of Minab is from Hallowi in small quantity, but princi
pally from Zarak and Sayer.
AtLarandits neighbourhood a "Kharak-pookhtah" is obtained from the Sha-Khani
date. As soon as the fresh Kharak has been sufficiently boiled, it is taken out of the water, its
stone removed, and it is strung in long wreaths and hung up to dry; it is yellow and of good
taste.
From various causes a portion of the date-fruit does not attain maturity, and generally
drops off in a half-ripe state; becomes dry, skinny, with very little flesh. In this condition it is
called " Salang," |nd used as food for sheep and domestic cattle; sometimes it is boiled with
date stones and constitutes a nutritious food to the milch-cow.
The age of an off-shoot is no reliable guide for its being detached from its parent for pur
poses of a successful transplantation. An offshoot sometimes continues at the foot of its
parent several years, but under the various unfavourable circumstances of soil, supply of water,
&c., it is small and weak, and therefore unfit for transplantation; while under favouiable ciicum-
stances an offshoot, 3 or 4 years old, is vigorous and large, and does not usually, when trans
planted, fail to strike root and survive. Hence the vigour of growth and the actual size of
the young plant are taken into consideration. The average weight of the young plant most
suitable for purposes of transplantation is considered to be six pounds ; but larger weights are
preferred, as, after striking, the plant grows rapidly, and bears fruit without much trouble and
expense to the cultivator.
It is averred that sometimes offshoots which have commenced to bear fruit are carefully
detached and successfully transplanted.
The Phoenix dactylifera, or the Arabian date palm, being dioecious,—?: the male and
female flowers existing on separate plants,—the conveyance of the pollen to the female flowers
is essential to fertilisation and formation of the date fruit.

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Content

Administration Report on the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for the year 1883-84, by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Charles Ross, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , published by Authority by the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta [Kolkata]. A copy of a letter from Ross to Charles Grant, Secretary to the Government of India (Foreign Department), dated 17 July 1884, is included in the report (folio 33), the original of which submitted the report to Government, under the following headings:

Part 1 ( General Report ), written by Ross (folios 34-39), containing summaries of local political affairs, and incidents or events of particular note for: Oman and the Pirate Coast; Bahrain; Nejd, El-Hasa [Al-Hasa] and El-Katr [Qatar]; Fars, including Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh] and Bunder Abbass [Bandar-e ʻAbbās], and the coast between Bushire and Bandar-e Lengeh; Persian Arabistan; Persian Beloochistan [Baluchistan] and Gwadur; and Bassidore. The report also contains summaries of changes in official personnel (referred to as political establishment); British naval movements in the Gulf; and a summary of meteorological events observed at the Bushire observatory. Appendix A contains tabulated and graphical meteorological data for the year, supplied by the Bushire observatory.

Part 2 ( Administration Report of the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for the year 1883-84 ), submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Barrett Miles, Her Britannic Majesty’s Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. and Consul at Muscat, dated 9 June 1884 (folios 40-50), containing a summary of affairs at Muscat, including raids and fighting around Muscat in October 1884, between rebel forces and those allied to the Sultan of Muscat. The report also records changes to British official personnel at Muscat, and notes recent shipwrecks on the Muscat coast. Appendix A is a biographical sketch, written by Miles, of Sayyid Sa'eed-bin-Sultan, the Imam of Muscat.

Part 3 ( Report on Trade for the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for 1883 , folios 50-105), comprising a short summary of the year’s trade, and followed by two appendices, labelled A and B, but arranged in reverse order: B) Supplementary notes on the care and culture of date trees and fruit, written by A. R. Hakim, Assistant to the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. ; A) tabulated data on trade, including data on imports and exports into and out of the Gulf ports of Bushire, Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh], Bunder Abbass [Bandar-e ʻAbbās], Bahrain and the Arab (Oman) coast. An index to the trade tables can be found at folios 53-54.

Part 4 (

[at Muscat]), submitted by Miles, dated 9 June 1884 (folios 105-12), comprising a short summary of the year’s trade at Muscat, and an appendix containing tabulated data on imports and exports at Muscat (listed by commodity), and the nationality and average tonnage of vessels visiting Muscat.

Extent and format
1 volume (87 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into four numbered parts, with lettered appendices containing further reports and statistical data after each. Two appendices following part two of the report are labelled in reverse order (B then A, instead of A then B).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: There is a foliation sequence, which 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, on number 32, and ends on the last folio, on number 112.

Pagination: The volume contains an original typed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Agency and Muscat Political Agency for the year 1883-84.’ [‎52r] (43/166), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/45, No 198, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023580328.0x00002d> [accessed 22 May 2024]

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