How Textiles From Islamic Dynasty Show Range Of Political Influence
Textiles from Iran's Safavid Empire are on U.S. soil for the first time.
Textiles were once a tool of power and influence.
"The number of elaborate coats and robes you wore, whether they were fur trimmed or not, really indicated your social status. Fabrics in particular — silk was really a very important medium," said Massumeh Farhad, Chief curator of Persian, Arab and Turkish art at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art.
In the 17th century what you wore was about more than what was on sale. Clothing could be used as a means of communication and political influence, and there may be no greater example than Iran’s Safavid empire, whose textiles are on display at the Smithsonian in an exhibit titled Fashioning an Empire: Safavid Textiles from the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha.
"In order to impress foreign rulers, you would give them either sort of finely woven silks, velvet," Farhad said.
It wasn’t just robes, but tents, furnishing and carpets also dominated the international market, spreading Islamic influence abroad at a time of great political transition worldwide.
"If you really want to show respect or reward a person in the highest way, you would give them a robe of honor and only the ruler could give out robes of honor," Farhad said.
Farhad says the influence of the Safavid empire continues until this day in the faith of the region.
"Iran at the time adopted Shiism as their state religion, so while the Mongols and the Ottomans were Sunnis, Iran, Safavid was Shiite and has continued to remain Shiite since that time."
This is the first time the art has been on U.S. soil, continuing the centuries long impact on a modern audience.
Under oath, Boris Johnson denies he lied over 'partygate'
If the committee concludes he deliberately lied, Johnson could face suspension or even lose his House of Commons seat.
Ramadan begins in Mideast amid high costs, hopes for peace
During the coming four weeks, Muslims will abstain from food and water from dawn to dusk, before gathering with family and friends for evening meals.
Russian drones kill 4 at Ukraine dorm, as rival summits end
A high school and two dormitories were partially destroyed in the overnight drone attack.
Are video games contributing to gambling problems?
Experts say the legalization of gambling, especially in mobile settings, is leading to a blurrier line between that and video games.
Ukrainian mom's visit to the US turned into a mission to help refugees
What started as visit to her son in Chicago is now a mission to help other Ukrainian refugees settle in the Windy City.
Woman sues artificial tears maker after loss of eyeball
Ezricare's artificial tears have been linked to a bacterial infection that is causing blindness, loss of eyes and even death.