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Human settlement and colonization in the Sundarbans, 1200–1750


  • Richard Eaton


The Sundarban forest in southern Bengal was for many centuries a frontier zone—an economic frontier for communities of wet rice farmers who brought with them technologies and forms of social organization from points further to the west; a political frontier for large centralized states expanding from North India; and a cultural frontier for the worldwide community of Muslims. This paper investigates the forces that, between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, lay behind the transformation of Bengal's natural forest into rice paddy, a transformation that was accompanied by conversion to Islam, state formation, and the evolution of new land tenures. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Eaton, 1990. "Human settlement and colonization in the Sundarbans, 1200–1750," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 7(2), pages 6-16, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:7:y:1990:i:2:p:6-16
    DOI: 10.1007/BF01530432

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    Cited by:

    1. Roy, Anjan Kumer Dev & Alam, Khorshed & Gow, Jeff, 2012. "A review of the role of property rights and forest policies in the management of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest in Bangladesh," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 46-53.

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