adapted from Philip D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984)
Diaspora. the residence by an originally homogenous people outside of their homeland as a result of force or by choice
From ancient times, merchants conducted long-distance trade by means of an arrangement known as a trade diaspora. In this, merchants would establish residence in foreign cities so as to facilitate trade with merchant houses in their home cities. Sometime their numbers grew so large that their particular ethnic group would take over a entire area of a city (as for instance in San Francisco's "Chinatown"). Merchants located abroad might maintain their distinct ethnic-cultural identity by taking brides from home or they might marry into the local elite families in order to gain economic advantages. Merchants living in trade diasporas learned the languages and customs of their adopted cities and so served as cultural as well as business brokers and sometime as diplomatic representative as well.
The operations of merchants residing at home and those living abroad in diaspora (whom Curtin designates "Stayers") were linked by the travels of younger family members (whom Curtin designates "Movers") who sailed the ships and drove the caravans and so were exposed to the danger of attacks by nomadic tribes, pirates, and bandits. Sinbad the Salior and Marco Polo are classic examples of Goers from Indian-Arabian literature. If the "Mover" survived his dangerous early years, he might acquire enough capital to become a "Stayer" (either at home or in diaspora) and finance the travels of another young merchant.