What happened when the Indians tried to market their pearls collectively in The Pearl?

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When Kino goes to the pearl buyers to bargain a price for his pearl, the whole community goes with him.  His brother, Juan Tomas, warns him about the possibility of being cheated by the pearl traders.  He says,

"How can we know what is a fair price, if we do not know what the pearl buyer gets for the pearl in another place?" (pg 45)

He then tells Kino the story of previous attempts to sell pearls to buyers in the big city before Kino was born.  The old men thought they could get  more money if they sold their pearls collectively to pearl buyers in the capital.  They hired an agent to go into the city, sell the pearls, and that agent would earn a percentage of the profit. So, they hired a man, pooled their pearls, and sent him to the city.  They never heard from the man again, and the pearls were lost. 

Though discouraged, they tried it a second time and hired another man.  Again they pooled their pearls and sent him to the city.  He was never heard from again, and they lost their pearls a second time.  So they gave up the whole idea and went back to the old way.  They sold their pearls to the pearl buyers in town.

The Indians were told that though it was a good idea, it was against religion.  The priest at the local parish told them that,

"The loss of the pearls was a punishment visited on those who tried to leave their station." (pg 45)

He made the same sermon every year telling the Indians that they had a station in life and must not attempt to leave it or,

".....else the castle (Universe) is in danger from the assaults of Hell." (pg 45)

So, the Indians no longer tried to sell their pearls elsewhere.

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Explain what happened when the pearl divers of the area attempted to market their pearls collectively.

There is a scam in the pearl business in this village. The pearl buyers are not independent, looking to gain a decent profit. They are the employees of a main merchant who pays them a salary for each purchase. They are not in competition with each other, but in collusion, working together to get the biggest profit for their employer. Before Kino brought the pearl to the village, the buyers had heard of his find and of its size. They had agreed on the maximum price they would pay for this pearl, substantially lower than its real worth. When Kino does not like the first price offered to him, the buyer sends for one of his colleagues, who tells him a similar price, along with an explanation of the pearl's flaws. It is too big, they tell Kino, to be anything but a curiosity. It has a strange color, which is not valued by anyone who knows anything about pearls. When Kino walks out, they realize that they have gone too far and worry what their employer will say.

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what happened when the indians attempted to market their pearls collectively?

Juan Tomas, Kino's brother, tells him to make sure that the pearl buyers don't cheat him. The Indians only deal with the pearl buyers in town, and they  do not know what is being paid in other towns.  He tells Kino that before he was born the Indians thought of a way to outsmart the pearl buyers and get more money for their pearls.  They would put all of their pearls together and get an agent to take them to the capital and sell them there. The agent would keep a share of the profit for his trouble and give the rest to them.  The first man they hired to do the job disappeared and was never heard from again.  Those pearls were lost. Then they hired a second man to be their agent.  He was never heard from again, and those pearls were lost.  So, they gave up the idea, and now they only deal with the pearl buyers in town.  Kino says that the priest told him that it was against religion to do that. The loss of the pearls was a punishment visited on those who tried to leave their station. Juan Tomas says that he has heard the priest make that sermon every year.  

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What happened when the Indians attempted to market their pearls collectively?This question is from the novel The Pearl.

The problem the Indians have when they sell their pearls is that they do not know what rate the pearl buyers give in another city. They are at the mercy of the pearl buyers in their town. The pearl buyers in their city unite together. They offer basically the same amount for the pearls. The Indians have no way of knowing if they are being cheated. This has been going on for many years.  Before Kino was born, the Indians tried to avoid this issue by pooling their pearls and sending an agent into the capital to try to sell them. The idea was that he would sell them there, and then he was given a percentage of the profit for his time and effort.  The first man they sent was never heard from again, and the pearls were lost.  The same thing happened to the second man they sent.  So, they gave up and went back to the old way of selling their pearls. The priest makes a sermon every year about this.  He tells the Indians that

"each man and woman is like a soldier sent by God to guard some part of the castle of the Universe......each one must remain faithful to his post and must not go running about, else the castle is in danger from the assaults of Hell."  (pg 46)

 In other words, it is God's will that the Indians must yield to the authority of the pearl buyers.  The Indians have only learned one defense in the last four hundred years.  It is....

.."a slight slitting of the eyes and as light tightening of the lips and a retirement.  Nothing could break down this wall, and they could remain whole within the wall." (pg 46)

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