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45. Turkish beaded Koran or amulet bag
46.Small Uzbek Koran bags
47. Detail of pic. 46, small Uzbek Koran bag
48. Baluch woman's head cover
49. Kurdish camel side cover
50. Detail of pic. 49, Kurdish camel side cover
51. Closer detail of pic. 49, Kurdish camel side cover
52. Wedding bag, Afghanistan, possibly Pashtun
53. Baluch dowry bag, Afghanistan
54. detail of pic. 53, Baluch dowry bag, Afghanistan
55. Back of Baluch dowry bag, Afghanistan, shown in pics. 53 & 54
56. Baluch dowry bag, Afghanistan
57. Back of Baluch dowry bag, Afghanistan, shown in pic. 56

Part 9

Buttons, Beads & Cowry Shells as Ways to influence the Unseen Worlds

We have already seen some nazarlik decorated with buttons, beads or cowry shells. Saul had a few more. Sometimes such items are almost entirely beaded as is the case for this small Turkish beaded Koran or amulet bag (pic.45)

Here are two more in small bag format (pic.46) - although these are from Uzbekestan. Pic. 47 shows a detail of the top one. Here we see not only distraction and color usage, but also, the idea of concealment. That which one does not see cannot be cursed.

Such beaded items can also be found amongst the Baluch. Pic. 48 is of a woman’s head cover, replete with cowry shells, beads and pom poms. Note, also, the use of old buttons. (This was a gift from Tatiana Divens). It is decorated heavily with cowry shells, thought to resemble female genitalia.

This next piece (pic. 49) is from Kurdistan, and was used as a camel side cover. This time shells, beads and buttons are supplemented with some mixed technique weaving. Pictures 50 and 51 show closer details. Multiple efforts to distract and divert evil, whilst bringing forth good luck are evident here.

The piece in picture 52 is in the bead, button and cowry-shell-decorated grouping, and comes from Afghanistan (Pushtun?). It has a khorjin shape and is decorated mostly with cowry shells and tassels. Concealment, fertility and distraction are all intended.

The next piece (pic. 53) had a similar khorjin shape, but is from the Baluch peoples of Afghanistan, and was probably used as a dowry bag. Note the use of mirrors. Buttons, beads and tassels are used to enhance the protective powers of the woven patterns. Pic. 54 shows a closer one-half detail. Pic. 55 is a view of the back of this piece. The plain character of this back suggests that evil is not expected to approach from this side.

Saul had one more similar piece (pic. 56). Also from the Baluch peoples, and also probably a dowry bag. Here, the weaving is more visible, but buttons, beads and tassels are used prominently. The back of the bag is shown in pic. 57
Part 10: Koran Bags to Protect and Conceal
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