Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire: A Cultural History of Islamic Textiles

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Thomas Allsen investigates the significance of cloth and colour in the political cultures of Islam, Iran, the steppe peoples, and China, thereby illuminating the cultural dynamics which condition the act of borrowing. His conclusion places the transmission of Muslim textiles and clothing culture to China within the broader context of the history of the Silk Road, the primary link in East-West cultural communication during the pre-modern era. The book promises, therefore, to be of interest not only to students of Middle Eastern and Asian history, but also to geographers, anthropologists, art historians, and textile specialists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...we may be doubly grateful for the quality of this study." Bernard O'Kane, MESA Bulletin

"...Allsen's book is truly groundbreaking." Ruth I. Meserve, The International History Review

" important and well-written study of cultural adaptation and reidentification, which tells us far more about Mongol beliefs and practices than Islamic textiles." Warren C. Schultz, Religious Studies Review

"This is a fascinating and erudite book." Religious Studies Review

"This book is a major contribution to Mongol history; to the history of textile production, use, and exchange; to the study of the Central Asian steppe; and to the more general problems associated with cultural exchange and interaction." Leonard Helfgott, American Historical Review

"...Occidentalists and Orientalists alike will find in Allsen's book a valuable correction to the cultural stereotyping that has often characterized sedentary-biased scholarship concerning the role of nomadic peoples in the millennial phenomenon of East-West cultural transmission." Speculum

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Consumption and use; 3. Acquisition and production; 4. Clothing and colour; 5. Cultural transmission; 6. Conclusion.

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