Processional Standard ('Alam)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 693

Standards are used in many parts of the Muslim world by the Shi'a community in processions marking the martyrdom of Imam Husain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died at the Battle of Karbala in A.D. 680. The pierced inscription at the center of this example reads "Allah, Muhammad, 'Ali," and these names are repeated in roundels surrounding the main inscription. Dragons encircle the central section and grasp it with their feet, while their tails intertwine at the bottom. Their bodies are pierced, and they have rounded scales on their backs, with nub-like legs.

Processional Standard ('Alam), Brass

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