A Roman-Egyptian sprang turban

sprangcapchildmummy This is a sprang woven turban found on the head of a child mummy, from the 3rd-4th century in Upper Egypt. The length is 68cm with a width of 40cm. It is a linen net. detailchildsprangturban The turban is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s book Textiles of Late Antiquity by Annemarie Stauffer can be downloaded in pdf format through the link.

The sprang pattern has been charted and can be seen in a YouTube video-
The Sojourning Spinner has created over 40 videos on sprang on her YouTube Channel.

NIU’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble

Interested in studying Middle Eastern music? Northern Illinois University have a Middle Eastern Music Ensemble where theoretical, practical and historical aspects are studied. There are a few YouTube clips too- This is an Armenian song called the Candle Dance, a traditional folk song.

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This clip is a traditional Turkish folk song called Longa Sultani Yakah.

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This clip is of a modern song called Azizah composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab.

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This clip is of a group percussion solo, arranged by Omar Al Musfi.

Kaşık Oyunları

Kaşık Oyunları is a wooden spoon dance from Turkish Anatolia. The history is unclear, as there is much oral history but little evidence in pictures and documents. Depending on the region, it was done in groups in a circle. However, women were not always allowed. The earliest reference to dancing with wooden spoons I have found is in the works of Fredrik Hasselquist in the 18th century-

He was dressed in a short jacket was bare footed and looked like a Turkish soldier. He held in each hand two wooden spoons. Thus accoutred he skipped about the middle of the room and moved his head and arms as much as his feet at the fame often bending his body backwards forwards and sideways. He held the spoons two in each in such a manner between his fingers that he could frequently strike them together which with the rough music made a noise no ways agreeable to ears.

The full entry can be seen at Voyages and Travels in the Levant in the Years 1749, 50, 51, 52 by Fredrik Hasselquist. If anyone has any other references, please let me know!
Recommended reading
Spoon Dance In The Hippocampus
Turkish Dance & Styles on Les Arts Turcs Tours.
Dances of the “Roma” Gypsy Trail From Rajastan to Spain: Balkan “”Cocek”” by Miriam Peretz. From the Dom Research Centre.
A Pictorial History of Turkish Dancing:
From Folk Dancing to Whirling Dervishes, Belly Dancing to Ballet
by Metin And.

Ensemble Constantinople

This is called “Lamma bada” and performed by the group Constantinople. This style of music is known as Muwashah, which originates from the Andalus. Constantinople also does Persian music- and Greek- The music can be seen on Constantinople’s Myspace page as well as on Amazon.

Raqs Al-Juzur

Raqs Al-Juzur is also known as the Tunisian pot dance. This is a dance performed by the Jawaahir Dance Company. This is another dance troupe called Arabia Adorned. This is known as a folkloric style of dance, performed by men and women at weddings. The music eventually builds to a crescendo, with large hip movements also building up. The dance was thought to have been created in the southern region of Tunisia, where ceramics was a main industry. Unfortunately there is very little information on the dance out there. If you have any, please comment!
Recommended reading
The Habiba Studio- dance articles can be downloaded; they are in pdf format.
The Musical Pulse of Tunisia by Thorne Anderson. Via Saudi Aramco World Online Magazine.

Ebru paper marbling

Paper marbling (known as ebru) was done in Turkey and Persia in the 16th century. It was thought to have spread from the east through Anatolia from the 13th century but the earliest examples found are late 16th century. This is dated to 1540, as it was dated and signed by the artist himself. It is currently in the Topkapi Saray Museum. There is also one in the same time period in the Brooklyn Museum, though this one is Persian- The marbling is done by swirling oil pigments mixed with ox-gall in a viscose fluid (water with gum tragacanth). The paper is carefully laid on top, which means that every paper with marbling is a unique design. This YouTube clip shows how it is done- And this one- The main problem with dating the ebru paper is that the paper is used to re-bind manuscripts. So while the manuscripts could be 13th century, the binding itself (or the backing of individual pages) could be 17th or even 18th century. This picture is a Persian woman adjusting her aigrette and is dated to 1590. The ebru is a later date. The painting is in the Freer & Sackler Gallery.
Recommended reading
The Art of Marbling on The Ottomans.Org.
Ebru: The Art of Paper Marbling on MuslimHeritage.com.
Ebru (Paper Marbling) by B. Akbal-Delibas.
The Digital Art of Marbled Paper by B. Tevfik Akgun. JStor article.
Ebru: The Cloud Art by Robert Arndt. Via Saudi Aramco World Magazine.

An online exhibit

The University of Oxford and the Museum of the History of Science have an online exhibit called Al-Mizan. With many scientific instruments also being works of art themselves, they were usually made of brass. This Persian astrolabe has the Quran verse 2:255, known as the Throne verse-

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

Taken from Quran.com.
Unfortunately the exhibit has closed, but there is still information online. This includes a YouTube animation showing the workings of an astrolabe- There are some wonderful HD pictures that can be seen.