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Man in red
An ancient fabric for warriors

Photos by Sadegh Tirafkan
November 7, 2000
The Iranian

Clothing is an important signifier of manhood in Iranian culture. The long ­ pronounced lowng - is an abstract version of costumes inherited from the Ilamite civilization of ancient Iran.

The ancient costumes were knitted with fabrics made of gold and silk. The bright red color of the long symbolizes blood -- blood shed during wars and struggles against enemies.

Traditional Iranian wrestlers wear longs in Zoorkhanehs, or traditional indoor wrestling arenas. The long is also regarded as a form of Islamic covering for men. It is also used in public bathhouses to cover a man's body.

In the collection below I have tried to convey the humanistic message embedded in this beautiful fabric whose importance has been forgotten in modern times.

Sadegh Tirafkan's latest photos will be on exhibit at the Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran from November 12th through the 16th, 2000.

Click on images to see larger photos


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