Qur’anic Writing Board
Arts of Africa
ART OF VIRTUE
Art can express our most important values. For the youngest of students to the most senior of elders, art can provide a vision of the ideal world.
This writing board is evidence and expression of devotion and discipline, and a connection to an international community connected by Arabic, the language of the Qur'an. In Sudan, students historically used wood writing boards to practice their Arabic calligraphy and to help them memorize Qur'anic verses. The text written on the front of this board is a verse from the Qur'an, sura 97, which addresses the night of the first revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad.
The Lega figure called sakimatwemtwe, or "the man with many heads," represents the qualities of equity, wisdom, and discernment that enable its owner to see all sides of an issue and have knowledge of all things going on around him. It would have been owned by a man who belonged to Kindi, the highest level of Bwami, a hierarchical organization through which Lega initiates advance from one state of knowledge to the next.
Wood, ink, string
late 19th or early 20th century
31 7/8 x 11 x 1 in. (81 x 27.9 x 2.5 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Qur’anic Writing Board, late 19th or early 20th century. Wood, ink, string, 31 7/8 x 11 x 1 in. (81 x 27.9 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.231. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.231_side1_SL1.jpg)
side, side 1, 22.231_side1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Rectangular instructional tablet with painted designs in brown and black Arabic script. A passage from the Qur'an (chapter 97) appears on one side (see catalogue card for quotation) written in a square near the top. It is bound by a diamond-shaped pattern as well as pyramidal and flag like forms. Lower half has stylized figures and scorpions. Label on this side says, “Instructional tablet for school. Omdurman. 17". On other side script (single words) is interspersed with stylized human and animal forms as well as circular snail-like motifs. Handle has incised zigzag and circle designs. There is a cord tied around the base of the handle. Condition is good. Evidence of wear throughout, including some stains. Handle chipped and edges worn. String fragile; has been reconnected.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.