Central Asia and Mughal India
This chapter deals with the Mughal dynasty, which ruled much of India from 1526 to the early eighteenth century. Many of the pastoral nomads of Central Asia scorned all agriculture and those who practiced it. The typical pastoral nomad grouping was the tribe, and although many tribes might share a common language and culture, the normal form of interaction among them was rivalry, competition, and periodic warfare. The animals that made the pastoral nomadic way of life possible were primarily sheep and goats, native to the Central Asian steppe and very little altered from their wild forms. In the settled agrarian areas of Asia, women’s roles usually were confined to the household, although in some parts of Asia women provided much of the labor in the fields in addition to handicrafts. Generally, among nomadic communities, such as the Mongols, and communities with strong seafaring traditions, such as in Southeast Asia, women tended to have higher status and greater mobility.