عنوان مقاله [English]
Objects which are based on a kind of functionality as instruments in everyday life can sometimes go beyond their ordinary position acquiring a cultural role. Mirrors are among such objects which have gained cultural and religious function through influences from the Persian – Islamic culture, especially Shiism. The present research aims at the recognition of the impression of ideology and religion on material culture in the Qajar epoch and the way motifs and designs are used on which by studying mirror cases as common material objects in folk culture. Therefore, the purpose in here is to demonstrate narratives and codes which are indirectly painted on these mirror cases. Assuming that mirror cases have gone beyond their ordinary function gaining a position as a means of conveying cultural aspects, ideology and even religion, the article tries to respond to the basic following question: how Qajar mirror cases have transformed into material objects for the transmission of culture and ideology? Here, the subject is divided into two parts: the role of mirror in Persian - Islamic culture and the formal/ cultural connotation of Qajar mirror cases, i.e. codes and narratives, according to the examination of 30 samples. The methodology of the research is analytical – descriptive based on library and field studies. The samples were selected among electronic online collections of the Hermitage Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Khalili Collection, Sotheby's, and the works in the Astaneh Museum of Qom and Shah-Abdol-Azim Museum, Ray. Regarding the large number and variety of mirror cases, the research has just concentrated on the mentioned samples, those which are related to the subject, i.e. samples with literary, mystical and religious themes and motifs. For this purpose, the analysis of works has been based on the cultural approach of Jeffrey Alexander and Philip Smith, i.e. reading social meanings through narratives, symbols and codes. The most important feature of Alexander and Smith's work is the amalgamation of theories that provides a comprehensive methodological framework. The advantage of this method, in comparison to other common ones in the study of material culture, is that it offers an appropriate methodology for the research. The results show that Qajar mirror cases have obtained additional functions, sometimes in producing narratives and presenting ideologies, and sometimes as a means of instruction, emphasizing the religious themes of the time, while in some other cases as amulets to preserve the possessors from misfortune and affliction. While the mirror cases with narrative themes establish a closer connection with Iranian culture and literature, those based on the codes and signs convey a stronger sense of belief. Such codes have a direct connection with people's beliefs regarding the spiritual effects of the verses and litanies.