Devotional movements refers to various forms of Hinduism in India that co-exist with differing doctrines and practices. The history of worship in India is one of hybridisation. In ancient times various regions each had their own local myths and folklore, worshipping their own collection of local spirits and deities. Repeated invasions from the north as well as a vast expansion of trade with the west such as Siraf and with China to the east, brought increased contact with other cultures. India prospered through trade beginning in the days of the Roman Empire. An indicator of the Indian merchants' importance in Siraf comes from records describing dining plates reserved for them. Over time a process of cultural accommodation occurred and the local pantheons of spirits were merged with the foreign. The origin of the major Hindu deities, Vishnu, Shiva, and the various forms of the female consorts or goddess such as Shakti and Durga and the history of their possible converging or merging is not reliably documented. It is likely that in this way, for example, Vishnu collected his long list of Avatars or bodily manifestations. This accounts for the wide range in their divine powers and their rich and contradictory personalities.