- 30 - 2007
- 4. Histoire, Période Musulmane
- 4.2. Histoire du XVe au XIXe siècle
- 4.2.1. Safavides et Qâjârs
« A Study of the Pilgrimage to the Sacred ‘Atabāt ». Journal of Oriental Studies, 79, 2006, pp. 110-178. [in Japanese]
This brilliant paper illuminates broad and fundamental aspects of the ‘Atabāt pilgrimage, which was extremely prevalent in Qajar Iran, largely based on private journals and travel accounts of pilgrims. According to the author, in order to leave for the ‘Atabāt at the time, the time-honored overland route was commonly chosen: pilgrim bands from different parts of Iran crossed the border into Iraq via Kermānšāh and visited each of the shrines. The journey took much time, since, in spite of a gradual emergence of modern modes of transportation, as far as the ‘Atabāt pilgrimage is concerned, pedestrian journey was general, and stay in the shrines often exceeded more than one month. Then, the author examines various aspects of the trip, such as the peak season, length, accommodations, expenses, and motives. Of particular interest is the fact that the pilgrimage was not exclusively motivated by religious belief. Visiting the holy shrines following the established procedures, Iranian pilgrims engaged also in commercial and recreational activities during their rather long stay in the ‘Atabāt, such as sight-seeing, hunting, commerce, and even prostitution. The journey offered a good opportunity for pilgrims to have “exotic” time.