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Hee Sook Lee-Niinoja: Syncretic Islamic Ornaments

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Hee Sook Lee-Niinoja: Syncretic Islamic Ornaments

Java, situated on the southern Indonesian archipelago, has a tropical climate, rich rainfall, and fertile soils, providing bountiful natural resources. Hindu-Buddhist culture had influenced Java until Islam became the dominant religion in the 16th century. However, the basic patterns of ancestral and mythical beliefs were integrated within Sufi Islam which had lost much of its orthodoxy in its spread from the Arab world. Sacred pre-Islamic architecture became a means for Islamisation. Ornaments are not exceptional. Among them, four pre-Islamic ornaments (prehistoric tumpal, Hindu-Buddhist kala-makara, lotus bud, scroll) continued to Javanese mosques, particulary on the most decorated mihrabs which are said to be

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