This book documents and interprets the trajectory of ethnographic museums in Tunisia from the colonial to the post-revolutionary period, demonstrating changes and continuities in role, setting and architecture across shifting ideological landscapes. The display of everyday culture in museums is generally looked down upon as being kitsch and old-fashioned. This research shows that, in Tunisia, ethnographic museums have been highly significant sites in the definition of social identities. They have worked as sites that diffuse social, economic and political tensions through a vast array of means, such as the exhibition itself, architecture, activities, tourism, and consumerism. The book excavates the evolution of paradigms in which Tunisian popular identity has been expressed through the ethnographic museum, from the modernist notion of 'indigenous authenticity' under colonial time, to efforts at developing a Tunisian ethnography after Independence, and more recent conceptions of cultural diversity since the revolution. Based on a combination of archival research in Tunisia and in France, participant observation and interviews with past and present protagonists in the Tunisian museum field, this research brings to light new material on an understudied area.
The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain, Pre-1317 AH/1900 AD, the authors present a study of the funerary inscriptions based upon fieldwork completed in Bahrain between 2013-2015. A comprehensive illustrated catalogue of 150 gravestones in 26 locations is provided with transcription of the inscriptions into modern Arabic and translation into English. Subjects considered include: the history of Islamic burial, gravestone, and cemetery research on Bahrain, gravestone chronology, gravestone and cemetery types, stone sources and gravestone manufacture, the gravestone inscriptions, content, iconography and decoration, and the archaeology of the shrines and cemeteries in which some of the gravestones were found, contemporary practices relating to cemeteries, graves, and gravestones, the threats facing the gravestones, and management options for protecting and presenting the gravestones.
Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.
Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.
This edited volume follows the panel “Earth in Islamic Architecture” organised for the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Ankara, on the 19th of August 2014. Earthen architecture is well-known among archaeologists and anthropologists whose work extends from Central Asia to Spain, including Africa. However, little collective attention has been paid to earthen architecture within Muslim cultures. This book endeavours to share knowledge and methods of different disciplines such as history, anthropology, archaeology and architecture. Its objective is to establish a link between historical and archaeological studies given that Muslim cultures cannot be dissociated from social history.
Contributors: Marinella Arena; Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya; Christian Darles; François-Xavier Fauvelle; Elizabeth Golden; Moritz Kinzel; Rolando Melo da Rosa; Atri Hatef Naiemi; Bertrand Poissonnier; Stéphane Pradines; Paola Raffa and Paul D. Wordsworth.
Essouk-Tadmekka presents the first archaeological exploration of one of the most important market towns on the trans-Saharan camel-caravan routes in the early Islamic period, supplying West African gold, slaves, and ivory to the Mediterranean world. Excavation of Essouk-Tadmekka’s ruins – in Saharan West Africa – has enabled Sam Nixon and a team of scholars to better understand this town described by early Arabic geographers, therein providing insights into such wider questions as the origins of trans-Saharan trade, the commerce in gold, and the arrival of Islamic culture in West Africa. This window into the earliest period of trans-Saharan exchange includes illustration of some of the best-preserved ruins along the camel-caravan routes, the earliest-known Arabic writing in West Africa, and rare gold-working remains.
Contributors are: Stephanie Black, Sophie Desrosiers, Laure Dussubieux, Thomas Fenn, Dorian Fuller, James Lankton, Kevin MacDonald, Paulo de Moraes Farias, Mary-Anne Murray, Sam Nixon, Thilo Rehren, Peter Robertshaw, Jane Sidell, and Benoit Suzanne.
Through years of neglect, deliberate modernization, and the effect of decades of war, Kabul’s architectural history has virtually disappeared. By meticulous use of all available records including written works, photographs, films, and oral reminiscences,
Kabul: A History 1773-1948 provides a remarkably complete and unsurpassed account of the city’s history as seen through its built environment, from the pleasure gardens of the 16th and 17th century Mughals to the efforts of the Saduza’i and Muhammadza’i rulers of the 18th-20th centuries to turn this one-time resort town into a thriving capital city at the center of a country of enormous diversity. Thoroughly documented and well-illustrated, the book reveals the rich cultural legacy of a city of global importance.
This book constitutes a seminal contribution to the fields of Islamic architectural history and gender studies. It is the first major empirical study of the history and current state of mosque building in Senegal and the first study of mosque space from a gender perspective. The author positions Senegalese mosques within the field of Islamic architectural history, unraveling their history through pre-colonial travelers’ accounts to conversations with present-day planners, imams and women who continually shape and reshape the mosques they worship in. Using contemporary Dakar as a case study, the book’s second aim is to explore the role of women in the “making and remaking” of mosques. In particular, the rise of non-tariqa grass-roots movements (i.e.: the “Sunni/Ibadou” movement) has empowered women (particularly young women) and has greatly strengthened their capacity to use mosques as places of spirituality, education and socialization. The text is aimed at several specialized readerships: readers interested in Islam in West Africa, in the role of women in Islam, as well as those interested in the sociology and art-history of mosques.