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The study of commodities and commodity chains in the Indian Ocean World enables students and teachers to see parallels with other world regions and other commodities. This chapter identifies commodities that dominated Indian Ocean trade over time, such as ivory, gold, cowry shells, horses, timber, pearls, cloves, opium, and tea. Whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, all required human processing to transform them into valuable commodities. The most important indigenous manufactured commodities traded across the Indian Ocean included glass beads, Chinese ceramics, and Indian textiles.

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