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This Ottoman miniature painting from 1558 shows a group of boys dressed in red, being registered for thedevshirme(usually translated as “child levy” or “blood tax”). Thedevshirmewas a system of forced labor, probably begun in… [more]

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During the Abassid period and onward, children four or older in villages and urban centers began attending schools (maktabs) attached to mosques to obtain a basic education in religious matters. Students in a maktab sat in a semicircle on the floor… [more]

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In medieval times, education was a key factor of Islamic society. It was considered the purpose for which God created man. As such, belief and education were not separated from one another. The first revealed verse of the Qur'an is "Read,"… [more]

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Statesman, jurist, historian, scholar, and philosopher Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis on May 27, 1332. Ibn Khaldun is an exemplary example of product of the Islamic education that children and youth received. He received a traditional early education… [more]

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On the two major celebrations of the Islamic lunar calendar—Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha—public festivities in cities and towns across Muslim regions of Asia, Africa, and elsewhere include rides of various kinds. In the photograph at top from… [more]

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The photograph at the top shows two children gazing into the soft light of a fanoos [fan-NOOS], or traditional Ramadan lantern. In the photograph below, Ramadan lanterns are hung outside a shop in a section of medieval Cairo. As far as is known, the… [more]

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The top photograph shows the mummified remains of the 15-year-old Inca child, known as the "Llullaillaco Maiden," who was sacrificed with two other children, a boy of seven years old, shown in the photograph below, and a six-year-old girl, whose… [more]

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The image from the Codex Mendoza (produced ca. 1535-1550) describes the Aztec birth ritual of bathing and naming the child, which, according to accounts from the 16th century, was usually held on the fourth day after birth. It was attended by the… [more]

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Aztec children were valued creations. Language used in rituals compared infants to precious stones and feathers, flakes of stone, ornaments, or sprouts of plants. The duty of parents and society, however was not to indulge but to socialize the child,… [more]

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From the time of birth, children in Aztec, or Nahua, society were socialized into gender roles. In the birth ritual introducing the infant to society, symbolic objects clearly differentiated. Boys were to be warriors and craftsmen, and girls were to… [more]