Hello Gabriel, nice bead you got there. here i attache some of earlyer same family of beads, from the late roman into the byzantine period.
All the best
"They are fairly rare beads -- so enjoy"
What do you mean saying this beads are from the "Islamic period"?
You say rolled-pad beads, like this, date from Roman through Islamic times. What exactly makes you sure? Reference?
Just in case you might think (again)I could ask for the sake of asking alone, I can say that I am VERY interested in this bead/s, their production technic (!) AND earliest and latest manufacturing times myself. Obvious for somebody being interested in "Kiffa Beads".
You stated these are "Islamic Period" beads while, elsewhere, you call rolled-pad beads being from Roman through Islamic times. How are you going to argue yourself out of your very own contradiction? There are two to six centuries between the two periods - early "Roman" times and the beginning of Islam.
This bead is not - compared to Thomas´ beads - just "somewhat simelar", as you say. I say the bead is EXACTLY of the VERY same family: same size; same shape; same colors; same color combinations AND same production technic as Thomas' beads!
As "Kiffas" are proofing, such specimen have once been made in a wide variety of slightly changing styles, though the main "sujet" remained to be the same. Why do you call this bead to be just "somewhat simelar" then - in my understanding a word of indifference?!
True is that such beads have inspired certain types of "Kiffas". Yes, no doubts! NOT true is, though, your spelling of the Hassaniya word. It´s local name is NOT "Muracad"! MOUARGHAD is the bead's real name, instead!
Such beads are most likely from Egyptian workshops - possibly FUSTAT-made around 800-850 AD - the original "design-idea" goes possibly further back into the past and into Roman times!
"They are fairly rare beads", you say. Can you be more precise, please? In Mauritania, for example - possibly their main market, once - the pieces are not really that rare, actually. I assume, you meant: "fairly rare on American bead markets". Correct me, if that assumption is wrong!
For the benefit of any forumites who are interested:
“Kiffa Beads,” Ornament, 20:1, 1996.
It is an article Jürgen knows about quite well, as I discussed it with him when he was at my home in 1995.
For the past twenty-five years, I have been the primary proponent for understanding the ancient technology of glass-beadmaking, and distinguishing between Roman Period beads and later beads (essentially post-Roman and Islamic Period beads). I don't know how Mr. Busch could miss that. I should "cite references"? I WRITE this work (including here), and have often lectured upon it at museums, universities, and other institutions, here and abroad.
No "contradiction." Mr. Busch clearly did not understand what I intimated.
"Muracad" is the name Kirk Stanfield received from an informant in Mauritania. It has been published, and he has communicated to me that he believes the name Mr. Busch prefers is wrong. If Mr. Busch thinks he is not mistaken, he can prove it. My mind is open. The informant didn't speak to me.....
Yes, the assumption regarding "rarity" is wrong.
you are a funny-guy!
You, of all people, suddenly rely on an follow Kirk, not me, when it comes to information on "Kiffas"? Are you serious, or are you pulling my pig-tales?
Right, Kirk insisted - that was a few years ago, when he returned from a trip to Mauritania - the correct Hassaniya name for "Kiffa Beads" is "MURACAD". True is is further, that I disagreed an said "NURACAD" was the correct spelling an pronounciation. With an "N" and not an "M" in the front, I said! Kirk said the opposite! The difference was the difference between an "M" and an "N".
KIRK WAS CORRECT! But wait...!
There is no doubt that Kirk has a deeper understanding of beads, than most of us. There are fields, certain beads, various subjects, where his knowledge superseeds(?) the knowledge of anbody else! Even you will agree! No doubt that Kirk knows more about more beads than I will. Actually it makes me proud that I had the pleasure to meet Kirk. He is the opposite (!) person of the picture, people are trying to paint of him here! He is funny, generous, educated, trustworthy, smart and streetwise - all at the same time. And he´s a loving father of a sweet daughter, too! He is seriously interested in beads, in a deep, scholary and enthusiastic way, without taking himself too serious - always ready to admit he doesn´t know, when he doesn´t! I like his understatement. And the guy anyway! And I am certainly not the only one!
With the same confidence I like to praise Kirk´s knowledge and character, I insist, actually I know!!, that Kirk´s knowledge on "Kiffas" is less than mine. That is neither a minus point for Kirk, nor a plus-point for myself. It´s a fact. Simply. I bet, not even Kirk would object against my conservative statement and the fair judgement on differences of his and my own knowledge on "Mauritanian Powderglass Beads", those wondersome, tiny and lovely specimen from the "Hinterland" (right, Dog...?)of the West-Sahara.
That were the moment, normally, when I would explain why I am certain that Kirk´s "Kiffa-knowledge" on the other hand, exeeds the knowledge you have on this beads. But, by doing so, I would say nothing, but...
What for should I do so? Let me get back to the facts, instead!
The reason that I haven´t met anybody with a better understanding and broader knowledge of this beads, is a rather simple one. Who, I ask you sat thousands and thousands of hours studying them, painting them, photographing them, writing on them, hunting them and interviewing them or the woman who made them? Who else, tell me, spend more than six month in their "homeland" (5 trips in the past 14 years), in a rather shitty inviroment, with shitty food, shitty rooms (if any) shitty transport, costly like hell anyway, fire-hot during the day and ice-cold (!) at night, trying to lift their curtain of history, amongst other things, I´d come to investigate?
It were not fair to ask how many hours have you have studied the beads. I know that, can judge that from the substances (and partly wrong information!!) you pass on in your "Kiffa-posts". Do you really think you could hide your level of expertise in this field (imagine I were trying to explain the production technic of DZI/GZI-beads. Wouldn´s you know too...?)
Nobody can know everything, as we know. There are simply too many beads. You may be able to walk on water - or part the sea - but you too can´t have the same level of knowledge on any bead. "Kiffas", that much I can positively state, are not among the beads you know best about. Is it difficult for you to admit that? I have no problem to say that "Kiffas" are my "strong side", actually the only beads I REALLY know about. No wonder - given my investments!
You insist I and others should read more careful, write more precise and use a higher IQ in orer to understand you better. You do not read yourself, I realized more than once!! Had you read, had you known that I already came up with a third and very recent version of the spelling -one that is neither Kirk´s nor my version with an "N" in the
front - both had been wrong, actually - but since I had given the translation of that word in that post (2-3 days back), you should have sensed that I expanded my knowledge on the correct spelling, meanwhile!
OK - facts!
OF COURSE YOU ARE WRONG!
That is the first sentence! You are wrong, when following Kirk´s way of writing and spelling that word. While saying so, I wonder on how many other subjects you might have been wrong, in that forum, without anyboy objecting, just because nobody knew better? Tht conclusion must come up, since you were so often wrong or not precise, when it came to "Kiffas".
In this case you advocate, WRONGLY! advocate, the spelling of the name. It´s not "MURACAD" in Mauritania, Jamey, it´s MOUARGHAD.
Your argument: Kirk says so! Kirk...? Why you trust Kirk, suddenly, when you disagree on so many other things he says? Do you say Kirk the better expertise on "Kiffas"? He is simply more trustworthy than I am? Has Kirk better ears than me? Has Kirk a better ability to understand "Arabic"?
The word what counts here is "ARGHAD". That translates into "colorful". The silable, the first 3 letters "MOU", is nothing but Arabian grammar, turning "colorful" into "the colorful", turning an adjective into an substantive. That´s all!
Kirk, on his trip to the country many years ago, has inquired, spoke to people, possibly jewelry related folks, collectors, dealers, shop-owners etc., just like anybody would do, who wanted to find out the meaning of a word or it´s translation. Nothing else I did. Kirk and I returned home with different names, different letters. Kirk with an "M". I with an "N".
Kirk "with an M", me "with an N", Jamey "with an M" and therefore, not surprising in a forum with info-groupies, most others wrote the word with an "M" too. Yes, you bet, that pi**ed me off. I found myself defend my version, even though I hadn´t been certain any longer since quite some time(knowing that Kirk is accurate and precise with bead names and the information he shares). What to do? No trip was planned and it turned out that it was next to impossible to find anything out, while in Germany. For now I was stuck with two versions. Next I contacted anything and anybody with an Arabian Internet-address - among them dozends (!)of Arabian Universities. With devastating results. Maybe 25% answered, but none of the answers could help making a difference between "MURA and NURA".
During winter 2007/2008 I was finally back in the country. 6 interesting weeks. By rented car. With a driver. With a translator. With a painter! And my little green book full with promising addresses. With a heart full of enthusiasm!
Of course it was high on my to-do list to solve the name issue. It was rediculous! 15 years of studies, but still I didn´t know their correct name. Mea culpa!
First I approached the National Museum in Nouakchott (the only Museum in the country), the sandy capital of a sandy country. I was lucky again and got in touch with the young speaker of the minister of Education. Can you imagine how it went from there? Formal introduction, small-talk, raising interest, liking each other, accepting his offer to come to his house for lunch. "In 2 hours from now at 7", I recall Mohamed asking me. All got easy, when I told him, I came to investigate the "Sidi el Mahmoud" family. He showed a happy hawk-face and could not stop wondering that a "visitor" (as he called me) knew about his family and was even researching them. It turned out he was a member of the Mahmoud family. From the Kiffa region - like all of the circa 120.000 Mahmoud fasmily members. Most of them are of Arabian, Somalian and Yemenite origin (opposed to a Berber descendence), are educated, work in higher positions, often for the goverment, unless they are traders. They know about their country and the world. The Mahmouds in Nouakchott (with strong-strong ties to their home-city and the desert surrounding it)are anything but poor and belong to the upper-class of their society! The sister of my new friend had been a ministre once, while Mohamed´s father ha been the Chief of the big port in NKC.
We spend a whole evening talking "Arghad" (the "Mou" is basically not really spoken, more swallowed. A very short and half-swallowed "Mou", followed by a louder and harder "ARGHAD" - with a strongly "rolled" r in strrrrongly). Mohamed had invited 2 female family members for sharing their first-han information. We all sat on the floor and rank Coke and Camel-milk (not as a mix - we were given the choice), while the traditional wooden bowl of huge size (finely carved with sacred designs) was making the round. The woman sat "invisibly" on the floor in the neighbouring room, but were talking to us - via the translator, a Moroccan-Mauritanian English teacher - who translated my questions into "Hassaniya", the local berberized version of classic Arabic. My friend "translated" into family-slang and gave the result to his "minister sister", who was the only one allowed to talk to the 2 elder woman. The answers came the same way, though, from today´s point of view, it seemed as if there had been 1 or 2 more translation-steps inbetween. Difficult! Like all and everything in this country! Communication ranks to be among the most difficult of things. Even when your hosts understand what has been asked or said - things are still tricky! The culture differences between Europe and this "Saharan peoeples" is such a massive one, that certain questions seem to be literally unanswerable. Mostly for them - partly for me too, when the tables were turned! Hard to describe!
I set the inviroment, painted you the general picture of that funny and informative evening, somewhere in a suburb of Nouakchott, "opposite pompiere" - "on the other side of the fire-station", as Mohamed had written on that little paper I should later show the taxi-driver in order to arrive in time. The Nigerian taxi-slave found the house - though he was illiterate and could not read the directions!
You, Jamey, must have been in simelar positions (with or without bead), simelar houses, have talked to simelar people on your trips. Haven´t you? That´s one of the nice parts of travelling, isn´t it? Getting to know all sorts of VERY different people! First hand!
I got a deeper introduction into the differences of classic Arabic, verses local Hassaniya, the berberized version of the "real thing", and the grammer of both. Mohamed, equipped with the handwriting of a conservative intellectual carefully painted his letters into my little green book. Is that maybe enough proof for you could accept an change your opinion? Or do you insist it still counts more what Kirk has heard, when he was asking locals? Be informed that 999 from 1000 Mauritanians have never seen a "Kiffa". Possibly tht number is even closer to 9999 from 10.000 of those who have never heard about them, have never seen them. They have been worn only in a certain areas of the country. By certain woman or certain "families". At certain occasions, like, to mention at certain classical occasions. A wedding ceremony, for example! On the other hand, all this people know what "ARGHAD" means, a word that describes anything that is "COLORFUL", not just beads. I bet you have a "Mauritanian Colony" in Cali - ask them if you still remain in disbelief (believe?). If you want to be taken serious, stop writing "MURACAD" and use their correct spelling
"mou-ARRRGHAD" - phonetcally!
I'll answer your new statement - scarcity of certain "Kiffa" beadtypes (little round ones in blue/white and black/white) - in the other thread, but not today. I can say, though, that I CAN'T agree, that it is correct to call this two types rare.
what was the price of yawning? Whom did you thank, and what for?
What did bore you so much, that you had to yawn so early in the morning?
My longer post on "Muracad" vs. Mouarghad stopped you from getting enough oxygene? You mean the whole pieces was boring? Or parts of it? Or wasn´t I meant at all?
Sorry, just wonder that specific "bore-part". Tell me an I can maybe change that - next time! Actually, while writing (without editing, as usual - maybe there lay my shortcomings?)this, I felt rather exited. All memories came back - the taste of the sour camel-milk, the translating via different persons and languages, across two rooms, the funny image of Mohamed´s father - an old man with white beard, his costly snowy-white "Boubou" with elaborate embroidery, barefoot - laying flat on his back in the centre of that tent-style "living room". The only "interior-design" was a yellowish sketch in a frame on one wall, depicting Chef General Mouhamed Mahmoud, the founder of the family and forefather of all Mahmouds ever since (actually a member of the famous "Idau Ish" family from Ouadana/Wadan, further north in the country - seen from Kiffa).
Was that little insight into avarage Mauritanian life, in Nouakchott-2008 the boring part?
Will you tell me, when waking up from your dream?
Hello Gabriel, I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, these ancient bead types are the precoursers to the Kiffa beads in the picture I am posting, I am not the authority as to who made them and where, but I love them for their beauty as did the women bead makers of Mauritania!