Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

8 - QUESTION: What commodity are the Jews of Cochin (Kochi) India known to have traded?

Answer: Spice.

The Kochin Jews of India were an important part of the Kerala coast's spice trade, with huge warehouses containing mountains of turmeric, chilies, and pepper located directly below their family living quarters. This area was a trading hub on the coast of southern India since ancient times. It is believed that Jewish traders in the last centuries BCE settled in Kochi. Jews have a long history on the subcontinent, having settled in Mumbai, and other cities where distinct Jewish communities have been established. India's most prominent Jewish community—considered one of the oldest in the world east of Iran—remains the one in Kochi (although very few members of the community remain, most having long since emigrated to Israel).

Click for next question - 9