September 21 – 23, 2010
If you traced the twists and turns of world history on a map, you might as well have traced the routes of the spice trade. For 5,000 years, spice had been imported the world over from an archipelago in the East. In its wake, countries and cities developed and declined, Machiavellian economics and colonization ebbed and flowed, new lands were discovered and traded, indigenous peoples either ended up as converts to foreign religions or casualties of wars and genocides. Truly, this earthy assortment of roots, leaves, rhizomes, seeds, and bark, collectively known as spices, had shaped the geopolitical world as we knew it. To paraphrase a song, it was a spice world after all.