Primary sources from world and global history, including images, objects, texts, and digitally-born materials – annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
This image shows customs of the Abassid caliphs of Soutwestern Asia which included drinking wine. This would have been a part of their culture when Muslims explored other parts of the Asia and parts of Africa in this period.... Read More »
This sculpture is of Shiva, originally found in Kerala, southwestern India, shows the importance of religious symbols in Hinduism. Shiva is a major Hindu god who is associated with the opposing ideas of destruction and regeneration.... Read More »
The following excerpt is from the memoir of Ma Huan (1380-1460), a Chinese Muslim voyager and translator, who accompanied Admiral Zheng He on three of his seven voyages. The excerpt focuses on their journey in Calicut (modern day Kozhikode, India) in the 1430s and highlights on aspects of their experiences there.... Read More »
The following excerpt focuses on Ibn Battuta (1304-1369), a Moroccan Berber scholar and explorer, who traveled extensively in Central Asia, China, northern and eastern Africa, as well as the Mediterranean for much of his adult life.... Read More »
This cross or cosmogram from the 17th century shows the way in which the Kongolese understanding of Christianity incorporated traditional thinking and is in essence both a good example of syncretism and a warning. It shows the four moments of the sun and integrates magical protective properties that are a part of this matrilineal culture.... Read More »
While this particular piece was created in the 19th century, it represents a traditional depiction of values of the Kongo peoples. The Kongo believe that the great god, Ne Kongo, brought the first sacred medicine (or nkisi) down from heaven in an earthenware vessel and placed it upon three stones or termite mounds.... Read More »