A dancer with a Vina

dancerwithavina17thcent This picture is 17th century Persian, although originally found in Turkey. It is a leaf from a manuscript, 11 cm by 19.1 cm. The dancer is holding a vina, which is an Indian instrument. The picture is currently in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Recommended reading about Indian music
Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music edited by Emmie Te Nijenhuis. Via Google Books.

Musical Instruments of the Indian Subcontinent by Allen Roda. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.

History of Indian music by P. Sambamoorthy. Via Internet Archive.



Picture from Wikimedia Commons. The drink sharbat was thought to be a medicine, as well as a drink. They were fruit drinks made with a sugar syrup, seasoned with spices such as roses, sandalwood, aloe wood and hibiscus.The drink originated in Persia, first mentioned in the Persian book Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi, a 12th century 10 volume medical encyclopaedia. It spread over the Middle East, but especially to India and was popular during the Mughal Empire.
Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia by Josef W. Meri. Via Google Books.
The World’s First Soft Drink by Juliette Rossant. Recipes at the bottom of the article. From Saudi Aramco World.
Science and poetry in medieval Persia: the botany of Nizami’s Khamsa by Christine van Ruymbeke. Via Google Books.
Physicians as Professionals in Medieval India edited by Deepak Kumar. Via the Internet Archive. Text file.
An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook by David Friedman. This is an extra section on medicinal drinks.
Food as Medicine in Muslim Civilization by Nil Sari. From MuslimHeritage.com.

A Persian exhibition in 2012

The State Library of Victoria will be holding a free exhibition next year called Love and devotion: Persian cultural crossroads from Friday 9 March 2012 – Sunday 1 July 2012. A preview can be seen here- The exhibition is also holding a conference with many speakers. This will be on Thursday 12 April 2012 – Saturday 14 April 2012.

Differing dancers in the Akbarnama

Both of these painting were done in 1590-1595, in a work called the Akbarnama, or Book Of Akbar. Meant as an official record of his reign, Abu’l Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar was the third emperor of the Mughal Empire. A full English translation by Colonel H.S. Jarret (translated out of Persian in 1884) can be read and downloaded here on the Internet Archive. The Akbarnama had at least 49 artists of the Mughal Painting School. The picture above was done by La’l and Banwali Khord. An opaque watercolour with gold on paper, the height is 32 cm and the width is 18.9 cm. It is currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The painting above was done to show Akbar’s victory in Malwa, over Baz Bahadur. The romance of Baz Bahadur and Rupmati is still well known in the region today. The dancers are dressed in a style completely different to other dancers in the Akbarnama. They are wearing a combination of tight pants and layered short skirts. The artists who did the work were Kesav Kalan and Dharmdas, the height is 32.9 cm and the width is 25 cm and also made out of watercolour on paper with gold. Also in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

A sock

This sock was found in Fustat, Egypt but was thought to have made in India. Egyptian socks were knitted from the leg down but this sock differed. It was knitted from the toe up, with replaceable heels. This is for when the heel wore out, a whole sock was needed to have been replaced. It is made out of cotton, with the two shades of blue being from indigo.

Found in the Textile Museum.

Other blogs to search

I have been very lucky to find other SCAdian’s blogs which cover a lot more that I could even think about! Please check them out, they are wonderful.

Anahita bint ‘abd al-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi’s website, Dar Anahita is here.

Greet’s Middle Ages.

Mary Ostler’s page for Bedouin tent making is here but you can follow it back to her pages.

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania’s blog covers her interest in Fatimid Egypt and can be found here.

Lalita Dasa‘s website covers Indian interests.

Roxalana’s Redactions which covers food! I am looking forward to going through this one a little more thoroughly.