"There are 560 carved doors in the town; the oldest is exhibited at the back of the Museum, dating back to AH (Al Hijra - the Islamic calendar) 1112 or AD 1695.
Traditionally the door was the first part of the house to be erected, showing carved symbolic pre-Islamic natural motifs and serving the purpose of Quranic quotes which brought good omens to the rest of the building under construction.
There is no overwhelming consensus on what the natural pre-Islamic symbols represent. Some claim the carved, stylish lotuses are associated with the Egyptians as symbols of fertility, while others say they have Indian origins representing peace and tranquility. Others advocate that the fish and fish scale carvings represent fertility, contrary to those who say the fish indicate the protecting powers of Syrian goddess Atargatis. Frankincense and date-tree patterns have been attributed to personifying health and plenty, respectively. "
Zanzibar Tourist Task Force: Zanzibar guide
HSP Publications, London - 1994
catalogazione: libreria di fronte al divano