African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Allo Tablet
Allo Koranic Plank (N° 18843)
African tribal art and the Koran
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"allo" comes from the Arabic "lawh" for Hidden Tablets, God would have thus described the destiny of each man even before the creation of the world.
The Quranic plate called "Hello" is primarily intended for learning to write.
Some of them are very simple, undecorated, only decorated with passages from the Qur'an that are traced and then erased, then written again before being washed again, erased, and so on until the student has acquired the knowledge that is taught to him or her. This plate represents the student tradition, the transmission of knowledge to the student.
There are several functions attributed to the Allo boards by the Hausa, mainly in Nigeria. They become protective against the forces of evil, but also against disease.
They are as for them more graphic: decorated with drawings, all having their own protective power, the scorpion, as well as the magic squares protecting from evil, the snake plays the role of totem.
These ornamented Allo boards have therefore magical and medical functions. In ceremonies called "rubutun sha" the malam (marabout) writes verses from the Qur'an, draws numbers, animals, and characters to bring blessing, luck, and protection. Then the malam washes the board and offers the ink, flowing from the cleaning, as a protective or healing drink.
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