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The Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman has published an article about Tahmineh’s Beautiful Bird, considering it as an artistic piece, not just for children.

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This simple story is full of allegory: Man’s desire to capture a beautiful bird and keep it for his own use and pleasure is used as a metaphor for one people group trying to impose its way of life on another. The deeper meaning of this child’s tale clearly is against assimilation and the attempt to tie the Qashqai people down to the drudgery of life in the city, when they should be free to continue their traditional way of life. For them city-life would be like being in a gilded cage (as it is for Finnish band Nightwish).

Tahmineh's school on the Qashqai tribe. From 'Tahmineh's Beautiful Bird'
Tahmineh’s school on the Qashqai tribe.

This message is underscored by the vivid and striking illustrations, which show the beauty of Qashqai culture. This is artistic anthropology at its best, and is what makes an otherwise very simple story into a winning children’s picture book. We revel in the beauty of the simple garments worn by Tahmineh and her family and friends. We are fascinated by everyday objects such as the flute she uses to play to the goats, the carpets and tents, the utensils and flat-oven used for baking bread, spinning thread and rocking babies to sleep.

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Qashghai women spinning

And as the traditional villagers meet the city-dwellers, the latter receive a similarly sympathetic artistic treatment, celebrating the fact that these two worlds should be able to co-exist in harmony rather than one trying to consume and obliterate the other

Read the whole Article here.

You can order this book here

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