Translocated Colonial Subjects in Collaboration

Animals and Human Knowledge

in Transfers
Pushkar Sohoni Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

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The domestication and use of animals is an integral part of the history of technology, as beasts were used to improve the efficiency of agricultural, military, and transportation activities. Individuals and social groups often had to be introduced along with animal technologies, as the domestication, breeding, training, and handling of animals was a culture that could not be immediately learned. In the age of European empires, several ethnic groups were imported along with the animals that they tended. This article highlights the role of humans as part of animal technologies, as an important anthropological component when technologies that involve animals are introduced to new settlements and areas. Using three case studies in which animal technologies from Asia were introduced to other parts of the world, it can be seen that humans are an essential and integral component of animal technologies.

Contributor Notes

Pushkar Sohoni teaches in the Humanities and Social Sciences Program at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune. Trained as an architect and architectural historian, he received his doctorate on the architecture of the Deccan sultanates from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written books on historic architecture and has extensively published on other aspects of material culture and cultural history. E-mail:

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies


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