Return to table of contents | Return to report

Volume 5  Number 1
January 1987

These are, by and large, artifacts and practices from an early period. They continued, however, in a modest way at the beginning of the 19th century. Wittman, in Constantinople, in a general discussion of furnishings with reference to what he termed a "kiosk" wrote: "The floor is covered with handsome mats fabricated in Egypt, a considerable manufactory of which is carried on at Menoaf in Lower Egypt."(1)

He travelled during the years 1799 -1801, and was also in Cairo, where he observed an old custom:

"The procession which accompanied the camel destined to carry the cloth, or carpet, with which the caaba, or house of God, at Mecca, was to be covered, took place on the morning of the 29th [October, 1801]...The camel on whose back the sacred cloth was borne, had plumes of feathers on the head, and over the body an embroidered green cloth." (2)

Although there had been a three-year interruption in this practice due to the French occupation of Egypt, the tradition of annual replenishment of the Kaaba covering appears to have been impressively long-lived.


  1. Wittman, William, Travels in Turkey..., London, 1830, p. 30.
  2. ibid., p. 382.
Return to top