A Collection of Talismanic Bāzūbands from the Safavid and Qajar Epochs: A Descriptive and Analytical Study

Document Type : Original Article


Tourist Guidance Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Suez Canal University


No doubt, every nation had possessed a set of deeply rooted beliefs, these rendered into variant practices and traditions, establishing civilization aspects. The belief in magic, superstitions and divinations are categorized under these beliefs. Mankind had tremendously believed their ability to hurt, bring bad destiny, and on other hand, trusting their capacity to bestow protection and guarantee good luck, thus, motivated the appeal to possessing amulets and talismans. This research paper deals with ‘Bāzūbands’; a form of amulets and talismans, worn by warriors to, morally, safeguard them and ensure triumph through Qur’ānic inscriptions, invocations, besides other magical texts. The research tackles some important aspects related the Safavid and Qajar bāzūbands, like the belief in magic, its roots in the Persian culture, an etymological study for the different terms; ‘amulet’, ‘talisman’ and ‘bāzūband’, to reveal their roots and consequent development. This is followed by a preview for the Shi‘ītes’ attitude regarding amulets and talismans, and the main elements that should be exploited in fashioning them, and the influence of the Shi‘īte belief on its mounting and ornamentation. In addition, a detailed description for a special collection of talismanic ‘bāzūbands’ from world-wide museums and private collections; some of which are to be published for the first time, is enclosed. Thenceforth, a concise analysis for the described samples is incorporated.