« Les éléments scéniques du ta‘ziye : statut et sens », in : Michele Bernardini, Masashi Haneda and Maria Szuppe, eds., Eurasian Studies [Liber Amicorum : Études sur l’Iran médiéval et moderne offertes à Jean Calmard]. Vol. V/1-2, 2006, pp. 93-105.
The ta‘ziye – Shiite passion play – has been characterized as theatre without props and as performance on an empty stage. H. Esmaili tentatively re-addresses the question whether there really is no stage decoration in ta‘ziye performances. Using Gobineau’s observations from the late 19th century as a starting point, he points out the various perspectives taken on ta‘ziye – the point of view of the historian, the folklorist or the comparatist in religious studies. In the course of his discussion he identifies a variety of objects that detached from their naturalist aspect are also freed from their mimetic functions. Amongst these are not only the arms and weapons, but also the miniature bridal chamber (ḥejle) and the objects displayed in mourning processions (‘alāmāt, panje).