Reviews

This study unfortunately deprived of a critical apparatus of any kind is devoted to the representation given of Bukharan Jews in portraits by three prominent late-nineteenth – early-twentieth-century Russian photographers, D. Ermakov, S. M. Dudin and S. M. Prokudin-Gorskii (the latter being active in Central Asia, in fact, in the late 1900s and early 1910s).  The article is introduced by some paragraphs on the history of Jewish presence in Bukhara and Transoxiana, in which nothing is said of the specific group of the Jadid al-Islam (also called locally ‘Challa’) and of their origins in Mashhad and Iranian Khurasan (the pioneering works on them by Raphael Patai seem to have been ignored by the author).  Some biographical information is given about leading figures of the Jewish community of Bukhara under Russian Protectorate, such as the merchant Moshe Mullokandov (1839-1902), the dignitary Aaron Kandin (d. 1909) and the writer Shimon Khakham (1843-1910).  Most photographs, including some already published in varied unmentioned albums, are attributed to the archive of the Institute of Ethnography and Archaeology of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, Yerevan—even some the glass plates of which are actually preserved in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (see for instance, p. 266 & 268, two famous colour photographs by Prokudin-Gorskii: one of a dignitary of the Emir’s court—abusively identified by commentators as a member of the Jewish community—and the other of a Jewish school in Bukhara).  Several photographs from anonymous private collections, including those of Moshe Mullokandov (p. 268) and Shimon Khakham (p. 272), contribute to increase the article’s documentary value.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-3.4.C-295