Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Miniature Guru Granth

newKerala.com describes a miniature (1x1 inch) Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture) in Agra, India. According to Kashmir Singh, the head cleric there, it "was specially made by the British for the convenience of Sikh soldiers during World War I, as they could not carry a normal sized book in the battlefield to pray. It was manufactured in Germany." The date and location can't both be right (Germans printing Sikh scripture for the British during WWI?), but I suppose the printing may have occurred in the years before 1914.

This account supports previous posts on this blog that suggested practical motives behind the production of miniatures. Do I remain skeptical only because my weak eyes, peering through prescription reading glasses, can't imagine anyone regularly reading such small print?

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