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Talismanic Manuscript


Not on view

This rare nineteenth-century composite manuscript with texts in Arabic and African languages is unbound. Its individual leaves are wide-ranging in subject matter and notably include an anthology of pre-Islamic poetry addressing themes of love. Other texts focus on theology and interpretations of the Qur’an. Especially striking is an extensive collection of talismanic texts. While some address how to conceive children or strategies for retaining one’s cattle, many are concerned with waging war. The manipulation of sacred Islamic texts was an occult practice in Islam that afforded scholars power and sources of income.

Talismanic Manuscript, Paper, leather, Guinea

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Bibliothèque Nationale de France