Based on popularisation works by the Uzbekistani historian of art Galina Pugachenkova, the author, a renowned ethnologist of the Tajiks, stresses the pre-Islamic origins of the custom of veiling women in public spaces, as far as Central Asia is concerned (references to the representation of the goddess Anahita in Soghdian art), and the post-sixteenth-century appearance of the faranji/paranji itself (through mention of the unveiled representation of woman in Central Asian miniature painting of the Timurid period). This article provides us with an interesting illustration of the impact of Orientalism in the current debates on Islamic and Islamised customs in present-day Central Asia.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-6.4.E-531