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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jone on August 10, 2002 at 14:25:42:

"Islamic Textiles", Patricia L. Baker, British Museum Press, ISBN 0
-7141-2522-9, has a print of "Listening to the theologian" from the
Maquamat al-Hariri, 1237, which shows a group of women with beautiful,
beautiful henna patterns. Trouble is, the woman who wrote the book is
a textile specialist and she identified the henna as "black lace
gloves". Somehow she overlooked that GLOVES DON'T JUST COVER
FINGERTIPS ... she absolutely blunderd this one. If she'd looked at
ALL the women in the pic, and the other pics in the Maquamat and
similar manuscripts, the poetry of the period .. and IF she knew
ANYTHING about henna, she would have immediateloy picked up that this
is HENNA, NOT GLOVES. One of the group of women has henna up past the
wrist, and that could be mistaken for gloves (if you didn't know from
henna). The rest of the women have henna on fingertips, parts of the
hands .... The textile specialist had on her textile spectacles, and
only saw textiles. Sigh

Apart from that .... the henna patterns in that piece are a wonderful
confirmation that intricately patterned henna existed in the 13th
century in Iran/Iraq, just as Erfan Mahlodji found in his family
manuscripts. And, the book is full of wonderful textile patterns!


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