عنوان مقاله [English]
Oversight and inaccurate interpretation to ancient written sources on the history of making papier-mâché figures in cultural domain of Iran has resulted in some mistakes in this field and correct information is not presented in most related sources about the history of this subject. It is commonly thought that the use of Papier-mâché for making masks and figures made of paper is an imported art which is related to contemporary era. However, current evidence of Iranian written heritage suggests that from the first century of Islamic calendar, this method of making objects existed in the Eastern world including Iran for making sculptures and masks of humans, animals and other objects which were used in different ceremonies. In this study, the authors have sought to find evidence for this issue by studying the ancient Persian literature, collected and selected from second hand resources. Ten texts are selected for this purpose which only deal with the main theme of study (i.e. the use of paper (or paperboard) for crafting Papier-mâché statuettes and masks). These texts are selected from the first century to the early 14th century AH. The study of documents is classified and arranged based on the time that each text has been written. ccordingly, and in general terms, the samples are divided into three sections. First category deals with travelogues and chronicles written by travelers and Iranian historians who have collected the customs and traditions of different countries. This section include subcategories: one of them is dedicated to countries located in eastern Iran and also the Far East, such as China, India and the surrounding areas. The other part deals with countries that are located in West Iran, such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The second category includes travelogues that foreign historians wrote during their travels to Iran, which mention a description of the living conditions as well as culture of Persians and are ultimately recorded by travelers themselves. Later, these travelogue-form accounts have been translated into Persian language, and have been considered a part of our important documents. The third category includes items written by Iranian writes about Iran describing events related to Persia. This evidence suggests that from the early centuries, Iranians were fully aware of this type of paper, paperboard and Papier-mâché applications for the construction of various objects, and they applied it to fit their different purposes. The main part of the paper is devoted to the review of the literature which indicate that Persians were acquainted with the manufacture of different types of masks and statuettes. However, some evidence that have been recorded by Persian historians deal with the events that occurred outside the borders of Iran. This paper intends to explore the long history of the use of Papier-mâché in Persian and Islamic culture and to change the way it is considered as an imported technique.