Hajj Paintings

Folk Art of the Great Pilgrimage

Ann Parker
Avon Neal

Since the seventh century, the Hajj, or Great Pilgrimage to Mecca, has been a lifelong goal of devout Muslims throughout the world. Egyptian pilgrims

English edition
1 March 2009
192 pp.
130 color illus.
27.5X28cm
ISBN 9789774162596
For sale worldwide

$39.95

Since the seventh century, the Hajj, or Great Pilgrimage to Mecca, has been a lifelong goal of devout Muslims throughout the world. Egyptian pilgrims traditionally celebrate their sacred journey by commissioning a local artist to depict their religious odyssey on the walls of their homes. Hajj Paintings is the first visual record of the richness and variety of this naive art form. Photographer Ann Parker and writer Avon Neal spent a decade exploring towns, villages, and isolated farm communities along the Nile, across the Delta, down the Red Sea coast, and into Sinai. On the walls of buildings ranging from alabaster factories to mud-brick farmhouses they found brilliant murals illuminated by the desert sun, portraying beloved icons of the pilgrims’ faith and scenes from the Qur’an. Their nearly 150 color photographs and accompanying descriptions record the radiant palette of the mostly self-taught artists.

Ann Parker

Ann Parker has produced over 50 one-woman exhibitions around the world. Her photographs can be found in major collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Muhammad Afifi Matar was born in the Nile Delta village of Ramlat al-Anjab in 1935. Widely recognized as one of Egypt’s leading poets, he was awarded the prestigious Oweiss Prize in 1999.
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