As Dear as Salt: The story of neglect and decay in a traditional occupation in Goa


Author: Reyna Sequeria

9789380739618 | HB | pp.  251 | 2013 | Goa 1556

As Dear as Salt: The story of neglect and decay in a traditional occupation in Goa by Reyna Sequeria sheds light on the Salt industry of Goa.

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Salt has been one of the oldest traditional industries in Goa, India. History tells us of the importance of salt, along with rice, in Goa in the seventeenth century (De Souza, 1990:82). Goa is also believed to have been a major exporter of salt — exporting it to Thailand, Burma and some African countries in past centuries and dominating part of the Asian market with its salt exports around 1855 (Goaenvis 2013). Currently, the salt industry is in a state of collapse. It needs serious attention from academicians, policy makers and politicians. Out of the 20 traditional salt producing villages of Goa, only 11 villages produce salt in Goa today. This in turn has affected or led to the displacement of the salt makers engaged in the traditional occupation. The author’s association with the Agris of Batim of Tisvadi taluka in Goa began with studying the community for my Master s dissertation in Sociology in 1992-1993. Since she lived in Vasco then, the salt pans at Siridao (Zuari) and Batim were visible from her bus route to the Goa University. The regular sight of salt pans triggered her sociological imagination. Later, in 2005, while deciding to register for a Ph.D., she felt the need to study this traditional sector in greater detail and beyond just Batim. There are five different communities extracting local salt working in this sector in Goa. They are the Mithgaudas, the Gauddis, the Bhandaris, the Agris and the Agers.

Reyna Sequeria







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Goa 1556





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