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The Afghan Amulet: Travels from the Hindu Kush

The Afghan Amulet: Travels from the Hindu Kush
Sheila Paine

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Intrigued by an exquisite and mysterious amulet on an antique dress from Kohistan, 'land of mountains' in Pakistan, Sheila Paine began an epic quest that took her from the peaks of the Himalaya to the shores of Greece. In this, the first part of her journey, she set off alone and undaunted for the rugged Hindu Kush, her only possessions a tiny rucksack and a litre of vodka. Over the course of several months she followed endless clues - the patterns on a woman's dress, pendants hanging outside village houses to ward off djinns, scraps of embroidery in a bazaar - that took her to some of the most remote and inhospitable places in the world. She travelled to Makran and in Pakistan, an area closed completely to foreigners, and to Iran, where she was constantly watched by government minders. She was smuggled into Afghanistan by a band of mujahedin, and then forged on into Iraq and Turkish Kurdistan from Iran, before one final piece of evidence led her to the small town of Razgrad in eastern Bulgaria and news of the amulet she so tirelessly sought.

Author Info

Sheila Paine is a world expert on tribal societies and textiles. Her passion for travel began when she was very young and has taken her across the world, from Africa to Pakistan and beyond. She is the author of several acclaimed books, including Embroidery from India and Pakistan, Embroidered Textiles, The Linen Goddess and The Golden Horde (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and has won travel writing awards from the Independent and the Sunday Times. She is currently writing a book on Afghan embroidery for the British Museum.


'Remarkable...Paine's travels have a point to them, a narrative which bespeaks a deep significance about both the history and nature of humanity. She writes beautifully...A spirited, perceptive exploration of some of the least-known parts of the world, conducted by a woman whose pioneering spirit and coolness under fire seem like a relic from another age.'
The Sunday Times'

Vivid and immediate'
Times Literary Supplement The Afghan Amulet is an outstanding book of travel writing.'
Publisher's Weekly; 'These books have quickly become classics, combining great travel writing with Sheila Paine's extraordinary knowledge and passion for embroidery. Both journeys reap a rich reward in encounters with remarkable people and their fabrics.' Nicholas Fielding, OXFORD ASIAN TEXTILE GROUP (NEWSLETTER);

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845112431
Publication Date: 08 Oct 2006
Number of Pages: 312
Height: 198
Width: 126
Illustrations: Illustrations

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