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Ruh al-Amini’s Collection

An Introduction of ethnographical Photography collection of Mahmood Ruh al-Amini titled

“From Water to Bread Winning”

The collection is consisted of several photos from cultivation to harvesting wheat that are remarkable from artistic view in addition to cultural and ethnographical aspects. The collection was dedicated to Negarestan Garden & Museum of University of Tehran by his spouse at 1390/2011.

What are presented in the collection are evidences from millennia of attitudes and efforts of Iranian folks to win bread. Digging Qanat; keeping chain of wells; significance of source of water at rural life; role of pool; distributing style; plowing; fertilizing and watering; seeding; weeding; preserving crops; harvesting; yielding; clearing, weighing, dividing; flouring; baking and finally eating are among stages of traditional farming that are exposable by the photos of the collection. Undoubtedly, advances and development in technology, destroys ethnic traditions in all levels of social, economic, and cultural life; and one cannot excluded from this process. Developing machinery and mechanical equipment in agriculture concludes to gradual abandonment of traditional styles of production, just same as traditional farming tools. Ethnography is of the most important method in anthropological studies that aims to preserve views, innovations, artifacts, and past people works.

Photos of the collection are ethnographical pictures taken by late Dr. Mahmood Ruh al-Amini at Kuh Bonan region, Kerman, from cultivation process, cultivation, weeding, and harvesting. Homogeneity in subject, location, and family are among factors that resulted to choose the collection out of many other records and images. He involved in culture and rural society for his comprehensive study, at the same time, explained professional activities when observing technologies, customs and traditions, beliefs, and ethics.

Mahmood Ruh al-Amini

Late Dr. Ruh al.Amini was born at Kuh Bonan, Kerman, at 27.Sep.1928. After preliminary school, he completed his high school in Kuh Bonan, Kerman, and finally at Tehran, Dar al-Fonoon, he entered to University of Tehran, Faculty of Humanities and Literature to study Persian Language and Literature at B.H level and educated at 1955. At 1959, he gained his master degree in social sciences from Institute for Social Research and Studies of University of Tehran. Then he studied anthropology in Surbon, Paris, since 1960 to 1968. He got PhD in Anthropology titled: third cycle Doctorate in Anthropology as “a pastoral ancient civilization: sheepherding problem among Iranian pastoralists of Fars” that studied sheep roles at economic life of pastoralists of Fars province.

He employed as permanent member of department of sociology of University of Tehran then he taught in several Iranian and foreign universities. His educational activities continued for years after his retirement at 2000.

Late Dr. Ruh al.Amini had numerous cultural, artistic, and scientific activities in addition to his educational ones including “Museum of Anthropology at Golestan Palace”; cooperation in opening of anthropological museum of “Hammam Ganj Ali Khan”; “Rural Museum of Gilan”; Scientific laboratory at University of Tehran; writing and translating several volumes; and finally, publishing investigatory or analytic articles in creditable Iranian or international journals.

Among his artistic activities are collections of pictures and images which taken in his studies in human society and culture, technology, tradition and custom, beliefs and professional activities.

Late Dr. Ruh al-Amini was honored as glory figure in 2nd gathering of “Iranian Science and Culture Hall of Fame” as glory figure in anthropology. He passed away at 2010 after 82 years of productive life