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Ghilzai nomad women of Afghanistan in 1839-42
 

 

 

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Description Ghiljie women in the lower orders

This lithograph is taken from plate 6 of 'Afghaunistan' by Lieutenant James Rattray. This sketch was made on one of Rattray's journeys from Kabul to Kandahar with an Afghan escort. Rattray was uncomfortably aware that his companions could easily and quietly dispose of him, given the length of the journey and the remoteness of some of the places they passed through.

Rattray's group often came across roving bands of western Ghilzais, who lived a nomadic life from season to season, searching for pasture for their flocks. Their black felt tents stretched over twigs resembled a "flock of enormous bats skimming over the flat surface of the plain". Their women drove their camels, bullocks and donkeys, "laden sky-high with the most singular mix of goods and chattels". The unmarried Ghilzai women bore a peculiar badge of virginity on their foreheads: "[bringing] the whole of their hair to the front of their face, and kneading it into a compact cake with an admixture of dung and mud, ornament it with beads, bits of metal and coloured glass." Some of them were very pretty, Rattray observed, but others were squint-eyed from peering around the sides of their "odious distinction".
Date 1848(1848)
Source The British Library - Online Gallery
Author James Rattray (1818-1854)
Permission
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This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.
Public domain This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or fewer.

Dialog-warning.svg You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States. Note that a few countries have copyright terms longer than 70 years: Mexico has 100 years, Colombia has 80 years, and Guatemala and Samoa have 75 years. This image may not be in the public domain in these countries, which moreover do not implement the rule of the shorter term. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years and Honduras has 75 years, but they do implement the rule of the shorter term.


This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.


Licensing:
Public Domain

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