Collage of things associated with Indian Ocean
Our ‘Lexicon of the Seas’ is a collaborative endeavor that aims at the collection of words related to the sea to co-create a lexicon by collaborating with researchers (natural and social scientists), NGOs and local community members in order to create a multi-authored lexicon. These words can lead us to understand the cultural and social life surrounding the seas and coasts of the Indian Ocean. The uniqueness of these languages is their interconnectedness to histories of migration, navigation patterns, trade, acculturation, as well as co-existence with ecology. At the same time, we foster the importance of documenting the less discussed and unscripted languages of the Indian Ocean with an aim to promote them.
As a beginning, we are collecting around a dozen words and the meanings, stories, poems, pictures, beliefs and symbols associated with them. Like the floating waters, we adopt a fluid approach to collecting these words and comparing them to share and learn from each region. Such a comparative perspective can help us trace the roots of these languages to the routes of the sea. In this sense, the project encourages to think beyond the land and territories to the world of islands, lagoons and seas.