Western Arabia in the Leiden Collections. Traces of a Colourful Past
"In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Dutch diplomats, scholars and travellers assembled unique collections in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina. The Dutch presence in Arabia, where they established a consulate in Jeddah, was intimately connected with the supervision of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca from the Netherlands East Indies, present-day Indonesia. Notable guests at this consulate included the formidable Dutch Islamicist Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, visiting Arabia in 1884-1885. With the invaluable help of local Muslims, Dutch collectors tried to capture the essence of what they regarded as an ‘authentic’ Oriental culture in a period when Arabia was already looking towards modernity. These extensive collections are now preserved at the Leiden Museum of Ethnology and Leiden University Libaries. Together, they allow a glimpse into a colourful and vibrant society."
Keywordswestern arabia; manuscripts collections; holy places of islam; domestic artefacts; Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje; Hajj; Jeddah; Mecca; Netherlands
PublisherLeiden University Press
Publication date and place2016
Exhibition catalogues & specific collections
Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography