My current research focuses on the practices and perceptions of buying, making, eating and disposing of food among Dhofaris in the southern region of Oman. I am examining details of food preparation (who makes what kind of food in which location), as well as when, where and how food is eaten. I will also compare Dhofari food traditions with anthropological accounts from Yemen and recent changes in food culture including expanding selection of foods, hiring people to help with cooking, dieting, monetizing food and cooking methods.
[painting: Island of Faroun near the head of the Sea of Akabah. Showing the HEIC’s surveying vessel Palinurus. © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London]
I will be presenting “Accounts from the journeys of the brig ‘Palinurus’ along the Dhofar Coast in the mid-1800s” at the Exploration and Memory Conference, Mational Maritime Museum, September 14 and 15th.
This three-day conference, from Thursday to Saturday, will consider exploration from the vibrant perspective of memory studies. Presentations will focus on the history, poetics, and material and visual culture of exploration, exploring how these have changed over the years and what their legacies have been, and continue to be.
- Collections and memory
Unseen Art of Australia’s First Fleet; Naval collecting between Cook and Darwin; Sir Rex Nan Kivell: ‘Collecting the explorers’ and not recalling ones’ past
- Remembering people
Mapping movement and memories of coastal South America, 1680–1750; Representations of James Cook in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s; Convicts and Cartography in the Australian Colonies
Remembering the shipwreck of the Querina, 1431–32; Lost and forgotten: the story of the first Cook memorial; 21st Century challenges to the memorialisation of explorers
- Knowledge and Encounter
British perceptions of difference in voyage narratives to the South Seas in the 1740 and 1760s; Encountering a “Savage” Land in the Romantic Era; Indigenous knowledge in New South Wales and London in the early nineteenth century
The Afro-Brazilian architectural heritage in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin; Exploring inter-personal spaces in India-Bangladesh borderlands
- Making memory
Pacific Encounters: museums and memory making; The Taonga have memories too; Rites of space at ‘the shrine of geography’: the Royal Geographical Society, memory and exploration
- Film, science and exploration
Arctic expedition and encounter; Fragmented Landscapes: Memory, Photography and the Polar Expedition
- Memory and encounter
Cabeza de Vaca’s Naufragios: exploration, ethnography, and identity negotiation; The Battle of Goringhaiqua and the death of Viceroy D’Almeida: contested histories, popular memory and ancestral voices
- Travel writing
Between poles of memory in Ed O’Loughlin’s Minds of Winter; Accounts from the journeys of the brig ‘Palinurus’ along the Dhofar Coast in the mid-1800s; Time and memory in Antarctic exploration literature for children
Still trying to get my house dried out. Deepest thanks to the electricity, water and phone companies – all three stayed on during the storm which made everything easier. The government did a great job of warning people (to the point of forcing people to evacuate from low-lying areas), arranging free housing, food and water. Many civil aid trucks are out and about; roads are getting cleared. Darbat is RUNNING!
Accounts from the Journeys of the Brig “Palinurus” Along the Dhofar Coast in the mid-1800s
Dr. Marielle Risse
Although there is a fair amount of written descriptions about the northern part of Oman, there were few travelers who wrote about the southern region of Dhofar until the 1970s. The first sustained exploration by Westerners was done by two teams on the Brig “Palinurus.” Captain Haines and his crew from the Indian Navy surveyed and explored the Dhofar coast in 1834, 1835 and 1836. Commander J. P. Saunders, with the same ship and some of the same crew, continued this surveying work in 1844-1846. Both Haines and Saunders published accounts of their voyages,
The primary focus of these journeys was to figure out how the lands investigated might be of use to the British government and merchant class, as when Haines tried to buy the island of Socotra from Sultan Omar to use as a depot for steam-boat traffic between India and England. But there is a fascinating wealth of cultural and historical information from the articles written by members of the “Palinurus.” For example, the brig’s assistant-surgeon, Henry Carter, wrote up a brief archeological survey of “The Ruins of El Balad” (1846), in which he includes a succession of rulers/ governors of the Dhofari coast. Cruttenden’s short article (1838) details his journey from “Morebat” [Mirbat] to Dyreez [Dhariz],” approximately 71 kilometers along the coast.
My paper will discuss the articles published in relation to the “Palinurus” voyages along the Dhofar coast to compare the details of what was recorded in the mid 1800s to the present day. I will also briefly mention later travelers who came to the region by boat including Theodore & Mabel Bent and Bertram Thomas.
(photo by M. A. Al Awaid)