MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia
A CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF THE KATTA-LANGAR / ST. PETERSBURG “QUR’AN OF ‘UTHMAN”
Abstract. This paper presents a hypothesis according to which the Arab tribe, which kept in their possession the ancient Qur’anic manuscript (the Katta-Langar / St. Petersburg “Qur’an of ‘Uthman”, E-20) as a sacred relic, has Omani (Zufaric) origin. Taking part in the Arab conquests, these people found themselves in North-West Arabia, then, over the course of seven centuries, they had continued their passage along the Great Silk Road, the traditional route for migrations, until already in the 10th/16th century their progress was completed in that they settled on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. The author's contention is grounded in revealing explicit parallels between the ornaments of the suras separators of the manuscript and traditional Omani camel trappings with raqma designs. The author also draws attention to the functional and design proximity of nose rings of Jaynaw Arab women (Uzbekistan), whose ancestors brought the manuscript to the territory of modern Uzbekistan, and female nose rings, attested in Zufar (Oman). In order to prove or disprove the hypothesis, it is necessary to publish the materials of Isaac N. Vinnikov on the language, folklore and ethnography of Qashqa-Darya Arabs, to continue the study of the material culture (primarily carpet weaving) of the Arabs of the Qarshi region of Uzbekistan, initiated by the expeditions of St. Petersburg Kunstkamera in 2004—2005, to analyze the DNA of the inhabitants of the Jaynaw and compare the findings with available materials on the history, language, folklore, ethnography and anthropology of Zufar. A comprehensive study of the early Muslim historical traditions, including an analysis of genealogical materials, can also provide us with most interesting data clarifying the involvement of the Omani tribes in the Arab conquest.
Key words: The “Qur’an of ‘Uthman”, Oman, Zufar, migration, Qashqa-Darya Arabs of Uzbekistan, nose ring, arawak, arabek, latwa tash, khasafa, khasama, ornamented sura separators, Omani camel trappings, raqma designs
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Received by the Editorial Board: 4.10.2017