Donaldson, Bess Allen. The wild rue: a study of Muhammadan magic and folklore in Iran

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Publication Information

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Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The wild rue: a study of Muhammadan magic and folklore in Iran

Published By: Original publisher London: Luzac & Co.. 1938. 208 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by Bess Allen Donaldson

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Iran (MA01)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Food consumption (260); Marriage (580); Sickness (750); Religious beliefs (770); Religious practices (780); Ecclesiastical organization (790); Ideas about nature and people (820); Reproduction (840);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is an excellent account of the superstitious practices and folklore that pervaded many phases of Iranian life prior to the reform movement of Reza Shah Pahlavi. At the time this work was written, Reza Shahs institution of such innovations as co-education at all levels, development of a buplic press, establishment of communication systems and the emancipation of women was still meeting with strong resistance. Lack of enlightenment for many centuries had tended to create fears of everything û sickness, death, crop failure, meteorological catastrophes, the supernatural, and even ones own husband or relatives. Therefore, the practice of magic and sorcery was widespread. This volume presents a comprehensive coverage of these superstitious acts and folklore of pre-reform Iran. There is great concern with religious customs, because the superstitions were found to be firmly entrenched in the religion. The main site of observation was the province of Khorasan, which the author describes as being representative in population because of the pilgrimages to the city of Meshed; people from all parts of Iran migrated and settled in the 'sacred city.' Although most of the data were drawn from observations of women of the middle and lower classes, no social stratum was entirely neglected, nor wre men completely omitted from the study. Twenty-six separate topics have been discussed, among which are the evil eye; death, burial and resurrection; angels; names and numbers; oath, curses and blessing; the Koran and dreams and sleep. A complete listing may be found in the Contents, p. xi. The five illustrations, consisting mainly of charms and amulet, have been processed for the HRAF Collection. This book was published with the footnotes appearing at the end of each chapter. Where possible they have been printed on the pertinent page; where this was not feasible they will be found at the end of each chapter.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 13

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ma01-013

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Component part(s), monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references Index not included.|DONALDSON, BESS ALLEN (b. Galesburg, Ill., 7 December 1879, d. Lakeland, Fla., 20 December 1974) and DWIGHT MARTIN (b. Washington, O., 16 December 1884, d. Lakeland, Fla., 11 May 1976), American Presbyterian missionaries and writers about Persia. Bess Allen went to Tehran in 1910 as a teacher at the Iran Bethel Girl's School (renamed Nurbaæ School in 1940), a Presbyterian mission school; she subsequently became principal. Dwight Donaldson was a missionary of the American Presbyterian Church in Maµhad from 1915. They were married in Tehran on 28 June 1916 and undertook evangelical work in Maæhad until 1940, when foreign missionary teachers were expelled from Persia and their schools nationalized. Dwight Donaldson then became principal of the Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies at Aligarh in India, where the couple remained until his retirement in 1951.

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document none

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Unknown

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Robert J. Smith; 1953

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1910-1940

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Iran

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Iranians

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