Monday, October 5, 2009

Corner View: A Typical Souvenir of Salalah




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:

jane, ladybug-zen, ian, bonnie, esti, sophie, cele, modsquad,caitlin, joyce, ani, kim, a day that is dessert, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch, c.t., jeannette, outi, ritva, francesca, state of bliss, jennifer, dana, denise, cabrizette, bohemia girl, isabelle, amber, the girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari, jgy, skymring, elizabeth, allison, lise, cate, crescent moon, erin, otli, ida, caroline, lisa, dorte, kimmie, la lune dans le ciel, nicola, malo, vanessa, britta, april, b, kyndale samantha, karen, kristina, goldensunfamily, sophie, janet, mcgillicutty, aimee, sunnymama, jenell, britta, juanita, pamela, inna, daan, myrtille, cris, ibb, susi, jodi, lily, gillian, athena, pienduzz, latisha, clairette, kelleyn, iris, demara, mus, ninja, guusje, di, sammi, theresa, cherry b, victoria, kathryn , lisa, liza, juliette, braja, mulot, anne, lucy, leonor, elizabeth, helene, dominique, shokoofe

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34 comments:

  1. that is so much cooler than the plastic crap I'm probably going to post tomorrow! :)
    nah, seriously now, thanks for the background history. so... that's where baby j's incense & mhyrr came from.

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  2. Well, at least one doubt was cleared: What the mhyrr is!
    Superb pics, especially that tree.

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  3. When I read your post, I think there is nothing important to "collect" in Paris !!!! I learnt a lot again !!!

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  4. That´s a souvenir I would love to get. The real deal.
    The scent of frankincense in those shops must be overwhelming.
    Have a great week, Jeannette

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  5. I never knew what the trees looked like before. Thank you for posting that. That shop looks very interesting!

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  6. Gorgeous trees! I love how you educate me each week. Thank you!

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  7. I love the picture of the tree. beautiful.
    I do learn a lot from your post. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Hey Ian - my post isn't nearly as informative or beautiful. But it's got a tasty potential. Thanks for a great CV. Hope all is well in your corner. Cheers as always, from Maine.

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  9. That's pretty neat! I did not know that about frankincense!

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  10. That guy looks thrilled to be having his picture taken! Did you have to pay him?

    xxoo

    kim

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  11. i want some of your souvenirs! you are so lucky to have these places near your home. i bet those markets smell incredible. thanks ian as always. i love visiting your corner of the world. besos!

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  12. This tree is fantastic !!! An old one i think !!!

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  13. That's the coolest souvenir! The same thing that thre Three Kings gave to baby Jesus!

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  14. That's what we call in french "transmission de pensée" or... may be I'm a little "prévisible"...

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  15. Very intersesting indeed. I love seeing the stark differences from one Corner View to the other.

    (p.s. I don't think Salt Water Taffy is actually made from salt. It just tastes sweet.)

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  16. Wow, what a fascinating post and corner view, I'm so glad I visited.

    Amy in Maine

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  17. you live in a very ancient place indeed .... lots of history here


    (my CV is HERE)

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  18. This is my kind of souvenir. Makes everything else seem so ordinary... I'd love to try a waft frankincense smoke on my clothing :) Another interesting adventure, thanks Ian ...

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  19. the tree is beautiful and your corner view always fascinating ...

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  20. I know it would be exciting visiting you today. Thank you!

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  21. how cool. i love your posts, ian.

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  22. i, too, give myself a smoke 'bath' before leaving the house...

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  23. must be a very strong smell
    there was a BBC programm couple of weeks ago, I don't remeber what it was cold..about the frankincense

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  24. I love your post this week! There's just been a series on BBC about frankincense and the journey of the Three Kings.

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  25. Such an interesting post...as usual, thank you for sharing!

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  26. Oh wow, I liked this piece of information! Thank you Ian.

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  27. Excellent corner view!!j'adoremoi aussi l'arbre,majestueux au milieu de nulle part,merci aussi pour tes explications!! j'ai fait un beau voyage grâce à toi!!

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  28. This would be the best souvenir by far! Wow! I can't imagine... so beautiful!

    Happy Day, Ian!

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  29. I love the tree!! Gorgeous!! I was just wondering how old the tree is...
    Thank you for sharing a great corner view!

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  30. I found the background story here fascinating! You've really put Salalah on the map for me over the past few months Ian.

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  31. Your pictures are fascinating to look at. I have never traveled out of the US.

    Secretia

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  32. fantastic! that tree is out of this world...

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  33. just checking in...hey - he's still not smiling! i wonder if he's ticklish!

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  34. hey ian- the theme is "love" have a good night.

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