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Tutinama

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Book Review

Subject:

Literature

Subclass:

Poetry

Reign:

Jahangir II 1920-1948

Subject Year (Time):

1938

Author:

Gawasi

Volume:

-

Edition:

-

Publisher & Place:

Hyderabad Deccan

Publisher Date:

1938

Languages:

Urdu

ISBN 10|13:

-

Royal Mughal Ref:

ARC-1000001-250359

Description

Tutinama (Persian: طوطی‌نامه‎), literal meaning "Tales of a Parrot", is a 14th-century series of 52 stories in Persian. The work remains well-known largely because of a number of lavishly illustrated manuscripts, especially a version containing 250 miniature paintings was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar in the 1550s. The Persian text used was redacted in 14th century AD from an earlier anthology ‘Seventy Tales of the Parrot’ in Sanskrit compiled under the title Śukasaptati (a part of katha literature) dated to the 12th century AD. In India, parrots (in light of their purported conversational abilities) are popular as storytellers in works of fiction.

The adventure stories narrated by a parrot, night after night, for 52 successive nights, are moralistic stories to persuade his female owner Khojasta not to commit any adulterous act with any lover, in the absence of her husband. She is always on the point of leaving the house to meet her lover, until the loyal parrot detains her by a fascinating story.

Several illustrated manuscript copies survive, the most famous made for the Mughal Emperor Akbar over the five years after he ascended the throne in 1556,[6][7] by two Persian artists named Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad working in the court workshop.This is almost entirely in the Cleveland Museum of Art. A second version made for Akbar is now dispersed among several museums, but with the largest part in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin; this is thought to date to about 1580.

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