Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

The center subject of this photograph, circa 1900, is Ismat al-Muluk, granddaughter of the King of Persia Nasir al-Din Shah, along with some family members. You can enlarge those goofy faces here. It is apparent that Ismat al-Muluk was greatly interested in photography, and had fun with it.   

In Iran, the Qajar era lasted from 1796 to 1925, and was notable for its great strides in the modernization of the nation. Harvard University has an online bilingual archive called Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran containing literature, personal writings, photographs, artworks, and more that bring insight to the lives of women during the Qajar period. Mefite elgilito has selected quite a few particularly intriguing photographs from the archive that are linked here. They serve as an entertaining introduction to the vast archive, and a glimpse into the Persia of 100 years ago.

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