PortCities London
UKBristolHartlepoolLiverpoolLondonSouthampton
You are here:  PortCities London home > People and places > Port communities
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Port communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Thames art, literature and architecture
The working Thames
London's docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Port of science and discovery
Historical events
Ceremony and catastrophe
London in war and conflict
Fun and games
Things to do
Timeline games
Matching games
Send an e-card

The Goan community of London

Introduction
A maritime culture
The priest and the company
The Goans of Bombay
Lascars in the East End
Colonial clerks
The exodus
A Konkani translation of the full story
*
Send this story to a friendSend this story to a friend
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
View this story in picturesView this story in pictures

A maritime culture

Vasco da Gama
View full size image Vasco Da Gama. © NMM

Seafaring tradition

Goa is a tiny state within the Indian Union, consisting of three comunities on the western coast of India (Goa, Daman and Diu). So it is hardly surprising that the Konkani speakers of Goa were seafarers.

The inhabitants of Goa seem to have had trading connections with the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

They were certainly trading with East Africa by the 10th century, and were using Polynesian outriggers by the 12th century.

Portuguese expansion

In the early 15th century the Goans were voyaging to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. By the end of the same century the Portuguese under Vasco Da Gama (c.1469-1524) led the European discovery of a sea route around Africa to India. That gave access to spices, silk, precious stones and china.

Goa fortissima Indiae urbs in Christianorum potestatem anno Salutis 1509 deuenit

View full size image Goa fortissima Indiae urbs in Christianorum potestatem anno Salutis 1509 deuenit.

Afonso De Albuquerque (1453-1515) captured the city of Goa in 1510 from the Moslems and started 450 years of Portuguese rule.

Capital of an Empire

Goa became the capital of Portugal's Eastern Empire, extending from Japan to Mozambique and developed a unique Indo-Portuguese culture.

Many Portuguese seamen died in the tropics and so the Goans became part of the Portuguese seafaring tradition. They sailed on Portuguese ships throughout the Indian Ocean to the Far East, Africa, Brazil and Europe.


 


*
*
Glossary
Goan
Konkani
Outrigger
Spice Islands

Find out more
GalleriesGoan crewman collection
Images of Goan crewman and the ships they sailed.
*
*
8
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
Legal & CopyrightPartner sites:BristolHartlepoolLiverpoolSouthamptonAbout this SiteFeedbackText Only