'Das Grab der Sittanā Mèjmūnah und Lager dorthin gepilgerter Mekkaner (vergl. für die Beschreibung des Festes der Sittanā Mèjmūnah Mekka, Bd. II, S. 52ff.)'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār

X463/7

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The record is made up of 1 collotype print. It was created in 1888. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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Content

Genre/Subject Matter:

This landscape view shows an expansive camping ground near Mecca at a place called Sarif (Saref or ‘èn-Nawwārijjeh’, according to Snouck Hurgronje), described as ‘the grave of our lady Maymūna [the last of nine wives married to the prophet Mohammed] and camp of the Meccan pilgrims who travelled there’. Snouck Hurgonje, in the second volume of his publication Mekka describes the place, as well as the festival of ‘Sittanā Mèjmūnah’ in detail.

Much of the foreground, middle ground and background is littered with tents of varying shapes and sizes. In the foreground bushes can be seen and in the middle ground and background pilgrims are grouped together. Hills rise to the right and left of the horizon.

In the centre background a white-washed low-lying structure with a central onion-dome can be seen. This is likely the grave of Maymūna. Tradition relates that she requested to be buried at this location, where she married Mohammed.

The negative has had hand-work applied, creating a drawing-like quality in places, particularly in the background and middle ground, where the original plate may have been over-exposed.

This is the first of two photographs taken from the same vantage point, which form a panoramic view over the camp. The second is X463/8.

Inscriptions:

Above image, on the right, in ink: ‘VII’

Temporal Context:

According to Durkje van der Wal in his publication Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje: The First Western Photographer in Mecca, 1884-1885 (Amsterdam : Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fund, Rijksmuseum, 2011, pp. 43-51), the photographs in this publication that pertain to the hadj (this image included) likely date to August 1888 since this was the period of the last hadj before February 1889, the date Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje received the final consignment of images.

Extent and format
1 collotype print
Physical characteristics

Dimensions:

185 x 240 mm

Format:

Collotype print, pasted into volume

Condition:

The print is in good condition with minor surface dirt and light abrasions throughout.

Foliation:

‘VII’

Process:

Collotype

Written in
Arabic in Arabic script
Type
Photograph

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity.
Access conditions

Unrestricted

Archive reference
X463/7

History of this record

Date(s)
1888 (CE, Gregorian)

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'Das Grab der Sittanā Mèjmūnah und Lager dorthin gepilgerter Mekkaner (vergl. für die Beschreibung des Festes der Sittanā Mèjmūnah Mekka, Bd. II, S. 52ff.)'. Photographer: al-Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ghaffār, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, X463/7, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023514790.0x000006> [accessed 5 March 2024]

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