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erikkwakkel:

Medieval book made of fish skin
Here’s something special. You are looking at a handsome 15th-century Arabic manuscript - a Kuran - with a most peculiar shape: the pages are round and have a pointy tip on the right-hand side. It looks kind of fishy. Literally, it turns out, because the leaves are made out of fish skin. Before today I never heard of medieval manuscripts made from fish. In fact, when I encountered the Kuran in the Flickr account of the Mama Haldara Library in Timbuktu, where it is kept, I first thought it was a ruse - a whopper. Some digging around revealed, however, that fish skin is a most suitable material for parchment, as well as for the “leather” covers of bookbindings. It made total sense, of course, for book producers in the coastal regions of Western African to turn to fish, which are up for grabs there. Still, very few fish-made books appear to have been identified as such. When you cut the skins into rectangular sheets (and remove the pointy tail bits!) you can’t really tell that the animal was a swimmer rather than a walker. This splashy book is therefore quite the thing.
Pic: Timbuktu, Mama Haldara Library, MS 9167 (Kuran, 15th century). This is the source of the image and here it is confirmed that the pages are made from fish skin. Here are some examples of bookbindings made from fish skin and in this piece you find a scholarly study showing the skin’s suitability for bindings and parchment.

erikkwakkel:

Medieval book made of fish skin

Here’s something special. You are looking at a handsome 15th-century Arabic manuscript - a Kuran - with a most peculiar shape: the pages are round and have a pointy tip on the right-hand side. It looks kind of fishy. Literally, it turns out, because the leaves are made out of fish skin. Before today I never heard of medieval manuscripts made from fish. In fact, when I encountered the Kuran in the Flickr account of the Mama Haldara Library in Timbuktu, where it is kept, I first thought it was a ruse - a whopper. Some digging around revealed, however, that fish skin is a most suitable material for parchment, as well as for the “leather” covers of bookbindings. It made total sense, of course, for book producers in the coastal regions of Western African to turn to fish, which are up for grabs there. Still, very few fish-made books appear to have been identified as such. When you cut the skins into rectangular sheets (and remove the pointy tail bits!) you can’t really tell that the animal was a swimmer rather than a walker. This splashy book is therefore quite the thing.

Pic: Timbuktu, Mama Haldara Library, MS 9167 (Kuran, 15th century). This is the source of the image and here it is confirmed that the pages are made from fish skin. Here are some examples of bookbindings made from fish skin and in this piece you find a scholarly study showing the skin’s suitability for bindings and parchment.

(via medieval)

— 1 month ago with 1179 notes

art-of-swords:

Ottoman Saber

  • Dated: mid-16th century
  • Culture: Turkish
  • Medium: steel, iron, gold, wood, green-dyed fish skin
  • Measurements: L. 37 7/8 in. (96.2 cm); L. of blade 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm); L. of quillons 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 5 oz. (1049 g)
  • Classification: Swords

The blade is chiseled in relief with Koranic verses, with the surrounding areas inlaid with gold. The inscriptions refer to victory in the Holy War and to the magical powers of the biblical King Solomon (Suleiman). It seems probable that this unique blade was made for the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520–66). The guard is chiseled with gold-damascened flowers and was formerly inlaid with rubies. The grip, covered with fishskin dyed green, is a later replacement.

For those who want to know what the inscriptions on the blade mean, here they are…

Inscribed on obverse of blade in Arabic (the long cartouches 2,4,6,8,10….20 in upper row): "Verily we have granted thee a manifest victory: that God may forgive thee thy preceding and thy subsequent sin, and may complete his favor on thee, and direct thee in the right way; and direct thee in the right way; and that God may assist thee with a glorious assistance; it is he that sendeth down secure tranquility into the hearts of true believers, that they may increase in faith beyond their former faith; the hosts of heaven and earth are God’s and God is knowing and wise" - from Koran, sura 48, v. 1-4.

The small cartouches, 1,3,5,7,9-19, upper row, the beginning is obliterated, reads: "She [the Queen of Sheba] said: O nobles, verily an honourable letter hath been delivered unto me; it is from Sulayman and [this is the tenor thereof]: in the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate: Rise not up against me, but come unto me and resign yourselves unto Divine direction" - From Koran, sura 27, v. 29-31, from the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

The lower row, beginning obliterated, cartouche 21 reads: "In the name of God the merciful the compassionate, "Assistance from God and a speedy victory; and do thou bear good tidings to the true believers" [Koran, sura 61, v. 13]". Ccartouche 22: "God! there is no god but he, the living, the self-subsisting; neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him; to him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven,a nd on earth; who is he that can intercede with him, but through his good pleasure? he knoweth best that which is past, and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not comprehend anything of his knowledge, but so far as he pleaseth; his throne is extended over heaven and earth and the preservation of both is no burden unto him; he is the high, the mighty; - from Koran, sura 2, v.256, so-called “throne verse”.

Cartrouche 23: "And his armies [the armies of David] were gathered together unto Sulayman, consiting of genii [jinn] and men, and birds; and they were led in distinct bands" - From Koran, sura 27, v. 17 - "God the mighty, speaketh the truth."

On reverse of blade in Arabic (the upper row, cartouches 24-26): "Unto God belong the hosts of heaven and earth; and God is mighty and wise; verily we have sent thee to be a witness,a nd a bearer of good tidings, and a denouncer of threats; that ye may believe in God, and his apostle; and may assist him, and revere hima nd praise him morning and evening; verily they who swear fealty unto thee, swear fealty unto God; the hand og God is over their hands; whoever shall violate his oath, will violate [the same] to the hurt only of his own soul; but whoever shall perform that which he hath covenanted with God, he will surely give him a great reward; the Arabs of the desert who were left behind will say unto thee: our substance and our families employed us, [so that we went not forth with thee to war], wherefore, ask pardon for us; they speak that with their tongues which is not in their hearts; answer: who shall be able to obtain for youn anything from God [to the contrary], if he pleased to afflict you or is please unto you [to be gracious ? ]"  - from Koran, sura 48, v. 7-middle of 11.

Lower row, cartouches 28,30,32,34,……46: “That he may lead the true believers of both sexes into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever; and may expiate their evil deeds from them; this will be great felicity with God, and that he may punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the idolators and the idolatresses, who conceive an ill opinion of God; they shall experience a turn of evil fortune, and God shall be angry with them and shall curse them and hath prepared hell for them; an ill journey shall it be [thither]” - from Koran 48:5-6.

Lower row, small cartouches 27, 29,31-45: “Until they came into the valley of the ants, and an ant [seeing the hosts approaching] said: O ants, enter ye into your habitations, lest Sulayman and his army tread you under foot, and perceive [it] not; and Sulayman smiled, laughing at her words, and said, O Lord, excite me that I may do that which is right [and] well pleasing unto thee; and introduce me through thy mercy [into paradise] among thy servants the righteous” - from Koran, sura 27, v. 18-19].

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

— 1 month ago with 1461 notes
reorientmag:

In both present-day Palestine and in colonial Algeria, there is and was a large native population being occupied through the use of force. In both cases, these native populations are and were treated as being less human than their occupiers, and violent and non-violent resistance are and were being used to combat oppression. While I do see my work as a celebration of resistance, I do not see it as a justification or celebration of violent resistance. I [rather] make an attempt to show the torment and psychological anguish that these women must have lived with. If anything, I think my work points to the moral ambiguity of using violence to overthrow an oppressive entity. In the paintings, the women are often depicted carrying the book, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon. In his book, he says that violent opposition to colonial rule is necessary to ‘repair’ the self-esteem of the oppressed indigenous population. I think there is a case to be made for this mode of thinking; I think there is an equally valid argument that violence in any form is never justified and is rarely effective in achieving the desired result.
Read the full article here

reorientmag:

In both present-day Palestine and in colonial Algeria, there is and was a large native population being occupied through the use of force. In both cases, these native populations are and were treated as being less human than their occupiers, and violent and non-violent resistance are and were being used to combat oppression. While I do see my work as a celebration of resistance, I do not see it as a justification or celebration of violent resistance. I [rather] make an attempt to show the torment and psychological anguish that these women must have lived with. If anything, I think my work points to the moral ambiguity of using violence to overthrow an oppressive entity. In the paintings, the women are often depicted carrying the book, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon. In his book, he says that violent opposition to colonial rule is necessary to ‘repair’ the self-esteem of the oppressed indigenous population. I think there is a case to be made for this mode of thinking; I think there is an equally valid argument that violence in any form is never justified and is rarely effective in achieving the desired result.

Read the full article here

— 1 month ago with 50 notes
autonomistan:

Purity cast its shade over the whole settlement…

autonomistan:

Purity cast its shade over the whole settlement…

— 1 month ago with 3 notes
chadalogy:

Morocco Mosque Men Listening Prayer old Photo 1930 

chadalogy:

Morocco Mosque Men Listening Prayer old Photo 1930 

(Source: morobook, via salvadordalilama)

— 1 month ago with 409 notes
lord-bajromi:

Richard Caton Woodville

lord-bajromi:

Richard Caton Woodville

— 1 month ago with 1 note
lord-bajromi:

A Night Entertainment During Ramazan, at Scutari, in Albania
Richard Caton Woodville
Illustrated London Magazine, June 18, 1883

lord-bajromi:

A Night Entertainment During Ramazan, at Scutari, in Albania

Richard Caton Woodville

Illustrated London Magazine, June 18, 1883

— 1 month ago with 21 notes