Mar 9, 2013
Mar 5, 2013
Bead Bai is released by CreateSpace and Amazon. You can purchase directly from either one. You can also get a copy through your local bookstores if you place an order.
I will continue to post more information, pictures and links. If you have family stories to tell about Bais in the dukas, please write to me. I look forward to share stories from all communities not only Ismaili Khojas. Although I write about Ismaili Khojas (because I grew up in the community), you will find the book speaks to a wider Asian African people. We can work out how your stories can be shared and remembered. If your family traded in beads in East Africa, I would like to mention the names of your grandmothers and great aunts and thus document their work for posterity.
You can read the conversation on this book below under comments. As of today, there have been over 20,800 pageviews. In a survey 164 out of 165 marked YES they would buy the book when published.
Thank you all for your interest and patience. Please do write a comment or two when you can.
Ethnographer and writer
Mar 1, 2013
The Gujarati writing on the book cover (see to your right) appeared on Bead Shops in East Africa: ખોટા મોતી ના સાચા વેપારી meaning Of imitation pearls we are genuine merchants. It may be that the storekeepers in East Africa had taken this phrase (that never fails to amuse Gujarati speakers), from the bead shops in Gujarat. Beads from German glass manufacturing families in Bohemia (that later became a part of Czechoslovakia) were popular in Gujarat. Gujarati bead merchants in East Africa imported a large variety of beads from Czechoslovakia for the ethnic people when they came to know them, and trade.
In recent memory people remember how Sunderji Hemraj's bead shops in both Mombasa and Nairobi had ખોટા મોતી ના સાચા વેપારી written at the entrances. Sunderji Hemraj grew to be the largest importer and distributor of beads in East Africa.