Island Lecture: Trade in the Nicobar Islands with Shaina Sehgal March 2022

Trade in the Nicobar Islands
Shaina Sehgal March 2022
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 ยท 1pm AST (UTC-4)
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In the second installment of our Island Lecture Series, Shaina Sehgal presents some of the findings from her Ph.D. research on the Nicobar Islands. The Nicobar Islands is a little-known archipelago in the eastern Indian ocean. However, these islands were ports-of-call along the ancient sea route from West Asia to South-East Asia and reported by traders and sea-farers throughout history. In this talk, Sehgal sketches the trading world of the Nicobar Islands between the 18th and 19th centuries. Analysis of historical texts, maps and images from this period shows the connection between seasonal trade within the archipelago and trade with the Nicobar Islands. This study concludes that these islands were a site of sustained contact within the bustling Indian Ocean world until the early 20th century.


Shaina Sehgal is an interdisciplinary scholar who has studied the social and environmental issues across diverse and challenging terrains across India (mountains, forests, and islands) over the past decade as a graduate student and researcher at Ambedkar University Delhi, India. Her Ph.D. in Human Ecology examined trade, agriculture, development and governance in the Nicobar Islands, using archival research, quantitative data analysis, social network analysis, and ethnographic research.