- Museum number
Silver necklace with a flat round pendant (samt) inscribed with the potent Qur'anic 'Throne Verse' (Ayat al-Kursi, Q.2:255) in eight lines. A silver barrel-shaped bead is soldered to the top of the pendant which is flanked by two red beads and threaded through a straight rod. The necklace is suspended from a double loop-in-loop chain. Engraved on the back of the pendant is a stylised image of a female djinn or spirit, sometimes known as the 'Umm al-subyan' (mother of the boys), handcuffed and shackled at the ankles. Northern Oman.
- Production date
Diameter: 5.60 centimetres (of pendant)
Length: 35 centimetres (with chain)
Weight: 81 grammes
- Curator's comments
- According to Pauline Shelton, 'On the back of the samt there was almost always a small figure - on older examples, in a highly stylised form - representing a jinn (a spirit, not necessarily evil) - though some referred to this figure specifically as a sheytan, or devil. This figure, which seems to represent a female spirit, umm al-subyan, "mother of the boys", was depicted as being handcuffed and shackled at the ankles (some say this was carried out by the Prophet Suleiman, in order to render her powerless): she was said to give children nightmares, and boys wet-dreams, and the samt was often placed around the boy's neck, or under his pillow, or was wrapped in leather and tied just above the elbow during sleep, in order to protect the sleeper from harm. The same figure was sometimes drawn on a slip of paper, along with Qur'anic verses, the paper then being carefully folded up and put into a silver hirz or wrapped in a leather pouch. This amulet was then called hirz al-qama, "hirz of the standing (figure)"; it was worn, especially by young boys and married women, to protect them from the female spirit or she-devil, and from the bad dreams and mental disturbance which she brought.' Miranda Morris and Pauline Shelton, 'Oman Adorned: A Portrait in Silver' (Muscat, 1997), p102.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This object is part of a collection of 20th century silver items (2009,6023.1 ff.) acquired in Oman between 1987-1995. This collection was mainly acquired in the markets of Nizwa, Mutrah and Rustaq and a small number of pieces were acquired in Sur, Wadi Bani Ouf, Bahla, Ibra and Ibri.
- Middle East
- Registration number