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Eternal Performance
Author: Peter J. Chelkowski

ISBN: 9781906497514
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 31 October 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.9 x 3.4
Over the centuries, Muharram observances have travelled far from their origins at Karbala---a windswept desert plain that is now a town in present-day Iraq---where Hussein, the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was brutally put to death together with 72 (according to tradition) of his male companions. For the Shiis, Hussein's passion and death are considered the ultimate example of sacrifice, and scores of rituals devoted to Muharram have developed during the last 13 centuries, especially in Iran where Twelver Shiism became the state religion in the sixteenth century. Many of these rituals were exported to other lands. The transformation and transmission of these observances to their present day forms around the world are the results of the intersection of multiple races, religions and artistic traditions. Muharram rituals have social, political, cultural, artistic and, of course, religious significance for millions of observers. These rituals have crossed boundaries and cultures for Iran and Iraq to Lebanon, the Indian subcontinent, the USA and the Caribbean. Yet all Muharram rituals, however expressed artistically or via performance, and wherever they take p...

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