Offers a heritage of historical American civilizations ahead of the arriving of Columbus, discussing historical past, agriculture, faith, structure, artwork, and politics.
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The account of Gustav Nachtigal, from 1874 but with historical information collected at court, provides copious detail. A huge royal household, with fulsome titles and perquisites, surrounded the sultan; the layout of the royal enclosure reflected his and their places in the hierarchy, combining practical function with ritual significance. In its central zone were the private quarters of the sultan, his principal wife, and his concubines, whose care was in the hands of slave girls and eunuchs. 22 Whether there was a “chancery” there before the restoration of the sultanate in 1898 is unknown.
Such grants varied in type and size. Rights in a defined community or tract involved exemptions from taxation; high offices of state carried with them responsibilities for and privileges in whole regions. Hints of feudal arrangements lie in the reciprocal relations of the sultan and such officeholders, whose rights in land and obligations at time of war are suggestive. The extent to which estate holders legally taxed, withheld tax due the sultan, illegally imposed their own obligations on tenants or communities, and upheld or conflicted with the authority of the local shartay must have varied according to time and place.
His person was sacred, his diet prescribed, his panoply infused with ritual meaning and taboo; his accession and death were marked by ceremony, and he alone was called on to perform various seasonal and religious rites, all of them heavy with symbolism. The account of Gustav Nachtigal, from 1874 but with historical information collected at court, provides copious detail. A huge royal household, with fulsome titles and perquisites, surrounded the sultan; the layout of the royal enclosure reflected his and their places in the hierarchy, combining practical function with ritual significance.