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International and Area Studies

Decorative arts

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

The Whole World In His Hands: What A Qibla Indicator Illuminates About Islamic Community In Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Turkey, Meghan Doyle May 2018

The Whole World In His Hands: What A Qibla Indicator Illuminates About Islamic Community In Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Turkey, Meghan Doyle

Global Tides

In the sixteenth century, at a time of Ottoman rule and production in modern-day Turkey, qibla indicators were ubiquitous objects, used to assist faithful Muslims in finding the direction to Mecca. A particularly well-preserved qibla indicator in the British Museum allows for an inquiry into how these objects were used, bridging the gap between folk astronomy and scientific geography. Applying contemporary theories of belongingness to the composition and function of the qibla indicator reveals the psychological effect this object may have had on members of the Islamic community. Ultimately, what the qibla indicator may lack in geographical accuracy it more ...