The Camel and the Arab. Arabian Camel Driver.
From The Archive of the Old Print Man. The Art Journal, 1857.
From The Archive of the Old Print Man. The Art Journal, 1857.
The Syren by C. L. Muller – New Gallery Of British Art, New York, D. Appleton, Company. Second Series edited by James Dafforne (Virtue, c 1880). Engraver H. Bourne.
Top row left: Clothing of the early Christians. Woman, man and boy. Right: Clothing of the early Christians. Women, girls and scribe.
Bottom row left: Clothing of the Middle East. Arab women clothing. Right: Arab men clothing and weaponry.
On the history of costumes. Münchener Bilderbogen. Edited by Braun and Schneider 1860.
This portrait represents a Mohammedan dressed In the full costume worn by Muslims from the North-West Provinces. It will be noticed that the turban is twisted into a peculiar shape, full at each side and falling below the ears, while the trousers are almost close-fitting to the leg below the knee, and are fastened by buttons from the calf downwards. The boots are of patent leather, and adorned with large silver buckles. The undress costume consists of a small oblong skull cap, and, while no coat is worn, a waistcoat, generally of a gorgeous color, plentifully sprinkled with gold or silver spangles in front and rear, is exposed to view. The majority of Mohammedans to be found in the North-West Provinces are of sturdy build, a fact which is not so noticeable in those coming from other parts of India.
The great Mohammedan festival of the year is the „Muharram,“ (Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year) and on this and similar occasions precautions are always necessary on the part of the police to prevent a conflict between the Hindus and the followers of the Prophet. The better class natives do not take part in the processions which parade the streets on such days, it being chiefly the rabble who delight in these festivals, which are always a nuisance to the town in which they are held.
It is curious how inconsistent are the English In their government of India. We permit all kinds of native nuisances, obstructions, and din, provided they have for their alleged raison d’etre a “religious prejudice.” We are very strong on the subject of religious prejudices, and wouldn’t for worlds interfere with one in any way whatever. This fact is duly appreciated by the native, who, making a mental note of it, carefully arranges accordingly, and when requested by those presumably in authority to do what does not please him, he replies, with an inward chuckle, that his religious prejudices prevent him from complying. And that settles the matter.
There exists in Bombay (Mumbai), at the time of writing, a native prejudice in favor of carrying, on an open bier, through the public thoroughfares, the corpses of people who have died of the plague. If the body is that of a Hindu it is burnt, and that is doubtless the best method of disposing of it. But when the burning ground is so situated that the bodies can be plainly seen from the road – that road being the one and only drive in the town – and the smoke from the funeral pile blows, charged with the ashes of burnt wood and an abominable odour of charred flesh, into the eyes and nostrils of each and every passer-by, it not unnaturally suggests the thought that the prejudices of the European community against the custom might, with advantage, be also taken into consideration by way of a pleasing change.
Costumes historiques de ville ou de théatre et travestissements. Author: Achille Devéria and José Domínguez Bécquer. Publisher Paris: Goupil et Vibert 1831. Publisher London: Charles Tilt 1839. Printed by: Lemercier & Cie.
In like manner to the Cabulis, the Arabs in India are mainly dealers in horses. In Bombay especially numbers of these men are to be met, and their strange dress and picturesque appearance must be the excuse for embodying a representative of their little colony among the other pictures in this book.
The Arab steed competes very closely for supremacy with his brother, the Waler, and as no mares are ever allowed to be shipped from Arabia, the many thousands of Arab horses in use in India are all imported, the trade forming a very large and lucrative business to the men engaged. Most of the animals are sent from one or other of the provinces bordering on the Persian Gulf.
One of the objects of interest noted in the guide books to Bombay are the Arab Stables in the Bhendi Bazaar, where at times are to be seen some of the finest horses in the East. Prices vary very considerably, for while it is sometimes possible to get a tolerable animal for Rs. 300, the average outlay necessary for the purchase of a good carriage horse is two or three times that amount, while a first-class animal will realize double that again, or even more. It may be superfluous to remark that all the best and most expensive Arabs are in the possession of natives they being the only people who can afford such luxuries in these days of the depreciated and unregenerate rupee!
It may perhaps be objected that a Persian is not a native of India, and should therefore have no place in this little volume, but as there are now many Persian families who have permanently settled in this country, and adopted in a measure the dress of their co-religionists, it is thought that an illustration showing their costumes will not be out of place.
There is a considerable trade in tea carried on between India and Persia, the larger portion of which is shipped to Bunder Abbas (Gameroon) via Bombay. Tea is the largest item of export between the two countries, being followed by indigo and cotton goods. A quantity of Cashmere shawls are also shipped, and also tin and copper sheeting, drugs and spices. Indigo is largely used in Central Asia for the purpose of dyeing cotton and silk, for staining glass, and in the manufacture of blue and white enameled tiles. From it is also made the hair dye which is in very general use among the natives of India, and this accounts for the peculiar blue tinge frequently observed in the bushy black beard of many an ancient Mohamedan.
The Persian Gulf is always more or less associated with the idea of piracy and murder, on the subject of which many tales might be told. The following story, however, will suffice as an example.
A Bombay merchant, having visited Muscat for the purpose of trade, set out on his return voyage in a native sailing boat, known as a buggalow. The captain of the vessel was a Beluchi, and during the voyage this man formed the notion of plundering the merchant of all he was worth. Having informed the crew of his nefarious scheme, and obtained their promise of assistance, he accordingly butchered the merchant during the night, together with those who would have stood by him. The murderers thereupon took a solemn oath to keep inviolate secrecy, and having transferred the plunder to some date jars, they one and all, nineteen in number, embarked in the long boat and set fire to the buggalow, to hide all traces of their guilt. Six of the men, however, fell victims to the captain’s suspicions, and were cruelly slaughtered; two others, fearful of the fate of their companions, leapt overboard when the boat neared the coast, and made their way to their native town. Asked why they had returned so soon, they replied that their vessel caught fire, and they had thrown themselves into the sea. The British Agent at Muscat having doubts as to the truth of the story, they were arrested, and upon full pardon being promised them, they confessed the whole story. After endless search and trouble, the captain of the burnt vessel was ultimately apprehended, and upon learning that evidence was forthcoming to convict him, he admitted his guilt, and threw himself on the mercy of his captors. The matter of his trial was referred to the Bombay Government, who desired that he might be tried by the native court at Muscat. His Excellency Syed Soweynee ( Imam of Muscat), however, considered it unnecessary to go through that formality, and promptly had the culprit executed off hand.
The Druze, mostly called madhhab at-Tawheed, are in the Middle East a religious community, which in the early 11th Century in Egypt arose as a splinter group of the Shia Ismaili.
Costumes historiques de ville ou de théatre et travestissements. Author: Achille Devéria and José Domínguez Bécquer. Publisher Paris: Goupil et Vibert. Publisher London: Charles Tilt 1831-1839. Printed by: Lemercier & Cie.
Time of the Ottoman Empire. Drawing by Amadeo Preziosi 1851.
THIS may be considered as the companion of the last plate. The dress, though not elegant, is not uninteresting. The Arabian women of the desert wear a number of singular ornaments; large metal rings in the ears, others of the same kind upon the ancles and arms, pieces of coral hung about them, and also necklaces of all sorts. They sometimes even hang small bells to their hair, and the young girls fix them to their feet. And it is not an uncommon custom among the Bedouins, as with the more civilized Arabians, to puncture different parts of the body and insert a blue dye.