The Mosques of Kerala: Artistic Vocabularies in the Identity-Building of Muslim Communities

De moskeeën van Kerala: artistieke woordenschat in de identiteitsvorming van moslimgemeenschappen
Begin - Einde 
2023 - 2028 (lopend)



The project aims to study the mosques on the Malabar coast of India in the period that ranges from the initial spread of Islam in this region to the late 19th century. The research promises to be extremely innovative since the production in question has been generally neglected by studies and only some of these structures have been published. From a scholarly perspective, these mosques are of great interest for a variety of reasons: some of them are among the oldest mosques in India; their construction would appear to be connected to the first communities of merchants settled in the region and generally they display a unique style borrowed from other Muslim regions and fused with elements drawn from local vernacular and temple architecture. A full and exhaustive understanding of the monuments in question, from both a stylistic point of view and in terms of the
context in which they were erected and developed, would have a remarkable impact on our knowledge of both art-historical scenarios, in the region and in the Islamic world, and socio-religious scenarios, enabling us to understand patronage patterns, socio-cultural dynamics and exchanges across the Indian Ocean. The research
would also contribute to preserve these monuments against increasing attempts to destroy or alter them: only by understanding their development over the centuries will it be possible to grasp the redefinition of their patrons’ identity and of the religious communities associated with them.