Vanity Bag or Quran Bag
Baluch, Southeastern Iran (Iranian)
DateEarly 20th century
DimensionsWork : 13 1/2 x 15 in. (34.29 x 38.1 cm)
Credit LineGift of the Mason Family in honor of Verne Trinoskey and Paula Armintrout Trinoskey
LabelSmall bags like this are commonly used to store personal possessions such as mirrors, knives, jewelry and cosmetics. They are sometimes also referred to as Quran bags, presumably because they may be used to store copies of Islam’s holy book. Historically, most nomadic and semi-nomadic people in Baluchistan did not go to school and could not read, so it is unlikely that many of them owned copies of the Quran. But they may have owned amulets and medicines made from the pages of worn-out or damaged Qurans. Prepared by clerics and sold in village markets, these Quranic amulets and medicines were used to ward off bad luck and cure people of illnesses.