The theme of this week's Corner View is 'a typical souvenir of your city.' Salalah is at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage designated Land of Frankincense. This area was once part of the ancient kingdom of Sheba, and it is believed that the incense the Queen of Sheba sent to King Solomon came from here. The ruins of the Queen's summer palace and the port from which her frankincense was exported can still be seen at the beautiful archaeological site of Sumhuram, just outside Salalah.
It is likely the gifts of frankincense and myrrh carried by the Magi, or Three Kings, to the baby Jesus were also from the Salalah area. Tissot's famous painting, Journey of the Magi depicts the camels taking some of the earliest 'souvenirs' of Salalah north to Bethlehem, in what probably would have been a regular camel train travelling the Frankincense Trail.
At the frankincense souq, just outside the wall's of the sultan's palace, you can buy frankincense and myrrh produced from local trees as well as handmade clay or metal incense burners in which to burn them. Omani women often waft the smoke from the burning frankincense into their clothes before they go out.
In the third picture you can see what the frankincense trees which dot the hills around Salalah look like. The frankincense is, like rubber, collected by cutting the bark and bleeding the resin from the trees.
You might be interested in the first ever Corner View, the theme of which was:
Scenes From My Daily Life
Please visit the other Corner View bloggers to see typical souvenirs of their cities:
2017 Short Story Collection Database
3 days ago