As an interesting aside, Bengalis also ululate at weddings and religious/celebratory events just like the Arabs. Common practice in some other parts of Africa also. I understand both ancient Egyptians and Sumerians ululated, the practice really goes back deep into antiquity.
Zellige is the name given to Moroccan decorative ceramic mosaics. The patterns are abstract and repetitive - in accordance with Islamic principles. Most of them are based on the geometry of the circle. Mosaics are nothing new, of course, used well before the advent of Islam.
|Roman mosaic from the 2nd century found in a wealthy urban |
residence. Villa of the Birds, Kom al Dikka, Alexandria, Egypt.
|Detail of Byzantium era mosaic. Madaba Archaeological Park.|
|Zellige mosaic in the Alhambra Palace. Note the strapwork weaving |
over and under each other. Complex! Granada, Andalusia, Spain.
|Detail of mosaic. Note the strapwork radiates out from a central |
eight point star. Alhambra Palace, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.
|Floor inset, based on Moroccan Zellige. Beit al Quran Museum, |
The required pieces are then assembled face down from a central point onwards to ensure a smooth, even surface for the front of the finished mosaic. Not a single mismatch in colour, not one wrong placement, otherwise the pieces don’t fit, not the slimmest margin for error. Takes the phrase “working blind” to a whole new level, doesn’t it?
Once the mosaic pattern is assembled, it is moistened, a mixture of backing material is poured into the frame and left to set. When set, the zellige is removed from the frame and taken for installation. This clip illustrates the process -
An apology on the length of the posts is in order. I did try some major culling though, oodles of stuff left out - a heap of musicians, all literature, mother-of-pearl inlay, the internet, woodwork, parks, the importance of water, the month of Ramadan...uff, chop chop chop the whole time and even then my posts were humongous. But I hope I've been able to get across at least a part of the vibrancy and beauty and diversity of this culture I'm privileged to see up close.
A tad melodramatic in ordinary convo, but you get my general drift...
Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2017 with a final round of thanks and applause
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing