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Islamic Manuscript

Artist/Maker: Hausa people (Nigeria)

Date: 19th to 20th century
Medium: ink and colors on paper, leather and dye
Dimensions:
Overall (Closed): 7 1/4 x 5 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. (18.4 x 13 x 4.8 cm)
Classification: Information Forms
Credit Line: Gift of The May Department Stores Company
Terms
Object number: 68.002.004.1
DescriptionThe Hausa of northern Nigeria are Muslim traders and townspeople. This manuscript is a book of recipes, a collection of single pages of script incorporating various geometric designs. Carried in a leather case and used during a consultation between a cleric and a client, it was a source for a secret hatumere, or design, which would be made into an amulet for use by the client. The calligraphy used here appears to be the script associated with the town of Bornu. Throughout the manuscript are marginalia enhanced with green and yellow ink. Islamic art avoids images and places importance on God’s utterances. Scribes make these words visible and use as their primary aesthetic embellishment the geometry of God’s creation.
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