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Wooden prayer board or 'lohn', Sudan, 1801-1910

Islamic holy men, known as fikas, write phrases from the Qu’ran (the holy book of Islam) or mystic inscriptions on wooden boards, known as lohn or prayer boards. When the ink is dry, it is washed from the board and drunk or applied to the body to cure illness. This practice is known as El Mahara.

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Glossary: prayer board

A board placed on a wall in a religious place of worship. Prayers are written down and submitted by members of the church.