Quran board

Horn book, rectangular board with handle and leather strap, covered with Arabic script on both sides

This is an allo board that would have been used by students of the Qur’an among the Hausa and Fulani to practice writing Qur’anic verses in the Arabic script until they had learned the entire Qur’an. Initially they would have used washable ink but once a student had mastered the entire Qur’an he would have been given an allo board with verses in indelible ink to mark his status as hamil. Other boards would have been used to write special verses from the Qur’an in water soluble ink that were then washed off and the ink drunk by a patient to absorb the protective spiritual power of the sacred words.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk