Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield

It is an ancient belief that the more inscribed and illustrated are your armor and arms, the safer you'll be in battle. Verses, prayers and symbols on Islamic war gear.

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Photo by Met Museum
Photo by Met Museum

Text and image played a great role in the construction of historic battle gear, as it did in an Islamic world. Verses from the Qur’an, prayers and Allah’s names, inscriptions involving Muhammad and his family, all of that was imbued on apparel and weapons to give it protective powers.

The Hagop Kevorkian fund has made this possible. Materials include steel, gold and copper alloy, chronologically the items vary including even 18th century, and geographically they range as far as India. Helmets and other artifacts speak of other times and places, and battle cries, the pounding of hoofs and warrior prayers echo from the hall of Gallery 458 into our days. All of the items come from the Museum collection.

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When was it?

August 29, 2016 – February 13, 2017

Where was it?

Venue
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Address of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
Closest subway
 456 To 86Th Street

Additional information

Exhibition category
  • History & figures
Price
$0 – $25
  Published ID125542

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