About this artwork
Among the distinctive traits of Swahili culture is the production of finely crafted props for reading and studying the Qur’an. These objects have been made for scribes, wealthy merchants, and their families. Swahili Qur’an stands, used to hold the holy book as it is read and studied, range from simple to exceedingly ornate. Like many, this well-worn example is made of two pieces of wood that are hinged together, opening into an X-shaped cradle. It features decorative shaping at the legs, notched embellishment along the upper edges, and incised floral and geometric patterns that are reminiscent of embroidery. The large floral motifs feature petals that fully burrow through the wood, contributing to the play of solids and voids.
- Qur'an Stand (Marufaa)
- Kenya (Object made in)
- Made 1900–1975
- Approx: 17.8 × 30.5 cm (7 × 12 in.)
- Gift of John Reuter-Pacyna and Jay Zerbe