I have already researched Islamic views on animals and found that most animals are considered sacred, as Allah made them. But I have been thinking more about my time and experiences in Morocco. Whilst I was there I bought a few animal products…
First I bought this rams horn drinking flask. I was so amazed when I saw it, I had never seen anything like it before. I asked for a starting bid price and I was shocked when he said dh150, £10! I was so thrown off by this I only got him down to dh120, when I probably could have got it for a lot less. As I walked away smiling, with my prize, I though about why it would be so cheap. I guess rams horns are simply a by product of the meat industry and there must be an abundance of them. This combined with cheap metal would make a cheap product. It’s also the fact that this is considered cheap, they don’t consider the animal parts worth more.
Next I found this big fish vertebrae (hopefully a shark or wale!) this was a little harder to haggle for, first the guy wanted dh200 which I was definitely not willing to pay, but we got it down to dh75, £5. I felt like that was a pretty good price for something so interesting. Again, the sellers didn’t make a big deal about the product and I felt like I got a bargain.
This isn’t an animal product, but it is still a little strange, a human tooth. There was a man in the main square selling these like it was a totally normal thing and they weren’t part of someone’s body. Very strange, but very cool.
I think that all these artefacts I have bought back simply strengthen my belief that animals are considered to be only there for human use. Hopefully I can change their mind with my work!