This contract celebrates the marriage of Moses, son of Judah, and Esther, daughter of Isaac, that took place in 1900 in Cochin, South India. According to the Indian caste system, the Jews of Cochin, very few of whom live there today, are divided into three groups: the Malabari (or black Jews) - whose namesake is the Indian coast of Malabar -, merchants who boast of their descent from King Solomon; the Paradesi (or white Jews) who arrived in Kerala during the colonial period; and the Meshuhrarim, originally slaves of Jewish merchants, who converted and were freed. The Jewish community of Cochin distinguished itself in numerous artistic fields, especially in the production of ketubbot. Based on its division into two sections, the present contract is typical of Indian production: the upper part of the document is taken up by lengthy blessings and biblical verses, written in square letters, while the lower part contains the actual wedding contract, written in a semi-cursive script. The decoration, consisting of elegant leafy branches in gold (and in yellow for some leaves), simultaneously frames and highlights the texts with its lustrous and shimmering effects.
Online Since: 06/18/2020