Design for Magic

Designed for Magic including the Zar ceremony

Slide-Show: Magic Zar ring

This category overlaps with some of the earlier categories in particular Human figurative and Arabic writing. In the slide-show you find examples of:

a) Rings for Zar ceremony (to ban evil spirits from a person)

b) Belts for Zar ceremony (to ban evil spirits from a person)

c) Jinns

d) Fertility symbols

e) Magic numbers  

Subject:  Designed for Magic

Period Until 1950

Origin: Used all over Oman

  1. Tribes in Oman by JRL Carter, Peninsular Publishing 1982 p 169-174 contains a wonderful overview of Omani folklore relating to magic (including Witches, Zar and shrines).
  2. Richardson & Dorr The Craft heritage of Oman Volume 2 page 320-323;
  3. Influence of Animism on Islam an account of popular superstitions 1920  by S.M. Zwemer (has worked in the Gulf and Oman) p 179 - p 185 contains detailed description and analysis of magic cups p 227. Page 244 discusses the Zar: exorcism of demons.
  4. Memoirs of an Arabian princess by Bibi Salme (Emily Ruete) 1888 contains detailed descriptions about the role of magic in Omani culture, including Zar.
  5. The peoples of Zanzibar, their customs and religious beliefs by Godfrey Dale, universities mission to central Africa  Westminster London 1920. Page 38-44. He writes on page 38 "Belief in witchcraft and magic seems to be universal amongst the people of Africa, and even in Zanzibar and Pemba in spite of the presence of Islam, has a very strong hold on the minds of the people.  Mohammed himself evidently believed in it, is said to have suffered from the consequences of it, and to have been given the last chapters of the Koran in order to enable him to recover from these consequences. In fact these two last chapters are considered  to be of great value as a preservative against witchcraft, and are constantly inscribed on talismans or recited for this purpose etc."