Kerala Maritime Communities Project

India Research Engagement Fund

Thomas Tartaron

School Affiliation: School of Arts and Sciences
Country or Region Engaged: India
Fund: India Research Engagement Fund
Year Awarded: 2022-23
Expertise: Climate Change, Sustainability, History, Ethnography, Agriculture

The Kerala Maritime Communities Project (KMCP) engages several “traditional” fishing communities in Kerala state, South India. The specific aims of KMCP are to: Preserve the vanishing cultural heritage of these communities in the form of a physical and virtual open-source archive of recorded oral histories, songs, videos, writings, and artifacts; Document changing ways of life as impacted by disruptions to the coastal environment, including human-induced climate change, damaging coastal constructions and engineering, and diminished marine resources; Explore Kerala fishing communities as a cross-cultural comparative case of coastal adaptations in world history and ethnoarchaeology; and Exchange Indian and American scholars and students for workshops and course development. Tartaron will partner with Mahatma Gandhi University and the Kerala Council for Historical Research to disseminate results locally and worldwide through open-source platforms. The project follows upon a pilot phase in 2014 consisting of 17 oral history interviews.