Harem and its secrets

Golden cage, a prison or a way to make a career for women of the East - History and Present harems in our material.


Harem and its secrets

"Harem" in Arabic means "forbidden, sacred place." This word signified the female half of the house in Muslim families where the men entry was forbidden - exception was made only for the owner of the house, and eunuchs. Harem as a phenomenon emerged in the Abbasid - dynasty of Arab caliphs, who ruled in the Middle East with 750 in 1258. Later on the same model they created their female dormitory other eastern rulers and just rich people. One of the most famous and numerous harems existed in the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. Each of the sultans held at the palace in Istanbul to 1000 women in the so-called House of happiness, constantly updating and adding to the collection of foreign-concubines odalisques. For details about the lives of these women reached the Europeans in the form of hearings and testimonies of missionaries and their wives, travelers and the eunuchs, and fully become known after the overthrow of the last ruler of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II in 1909.

Harems in Russia

Harem and its secrets

were harems and in Russia. The most numerous staff wives and concubines had, oddly enough, Vladimir Svyatoslavich Prince, revered as the Baptizer of Rus. Its busy personal life is told in "The Tale of Bygone Years": "There was also Vladimir defeated lust, and were in his wife ... and concubines he had 300 in Vyshgorod, 300 Belgorod and 200 Berestove ... And he was insatiable in fornication, leading to his married women and corrupted the young ladies. " There are numerous testimonies that other Russian rulers kept harems - in closed Terem, and they secretly existed almost to the XVIII century until Peter I do not put an end to this custom. One member of the Baghdad embassy, ​​Ahmed ibn Fadlan after his trip to the Volga in 921-922 years writing about a dissolute king Russ: "A bed is huge and it is inlaid with precious gems. And with him sitting on this bed of forty girls to his bed. Sometimes he uses as his concubine, one of them in the presence of his companions ... and it has nothing else to do as a combined (with the girls), drink and indulge in entertainment. He has a deputy, who commands the troops, attack the enemy, and replaces it with his subjects. " However, it was written from the words of the Arab traveler of a certain man of the Rus - probably a merchant, and it is possible that it was just a bike for a foreigner. King of the Rus Rurik Igor writer has not seen.


Harem and its secrets

Currently harems common in countries with a strong Muslim religious traditions. Polygamous family, built on the principle of the harem, and there with a small Muslim population states. For example, in Tanzania, where Muslims make up only 30%, and Christians - 60%, Polygamy includes every fourth married woman. In Swaziland, where 82, 7% of the population - are Christians, a numerous harem contains the head of state King Mswati III: he has 15 official wives and 25 children. Every year during the festival of Umhlanga, he chooses a new bride.

Hundreds of half-naked girls compete in many hours dancing cane, after which the king decides what Concubine replenish its collection of beautiful women. 47-year-old Mswati has not yet overtaken by the number of wives of his father, King Sobuza II, who successfully coexisted with 70 spouses.

Recently personal harem and have the leader of North Korea. According to South Korean media, Kim Jong-un, though dispersed father's harem and declared allegiance to a single singer wife Ri Sol-ju, but changed his mind after the birth of her daughter and the treatment of gout, he spent casting beauties and got a "pleasure squad". By the way, recently discovered by British scientists, polygamous marriage is all for the benefit of: harem women are less hungry, less sick children in such families are usually more cattle and wealth higher than monogamous families.


Harem and its secrets

The status of women in the traditional harem depended on the extent of its proximity to the ruler. If she did not enjoy the attention, then, tend to languish, he was subjected to ridicule and humiliation, to do hard work. If the concubine was loved by the owner and gave birth to a son, her status is rapidly increased to the level of the main wife that promised all sorts of delights and gifts: from jewelry to property.

Today, forming harems, Arab men governed by the laws of the Koran, which permits at the same time have no more than four wives, but with an important caveat: the husband is obliged to provide for their women equally and give them equal attention. That is, if he gives the apartment, and the other is to provide the same housing, not to mention the bouquets and boxes of chocolates. Each harem own, clearly defined terms of reference: traditionally younger wife brings up all the children of her husband, the elder - led by the other women, the other two - keep order and work in the kitchen.

Open the face

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Inhabitants of the eastern harems usually lead a solitary life and closed. Rare portraits of women of the harem, we can see through painting and photography. For example, the Shah of Iran, Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, who ruled in the second half of the XIX century, was an avid enthusiast and personally shot his wife, his assistant and a court photographer was a native of Russia Anton Sevryugin. With old photographs of the Shah look at us pyshnotelye Iranian women with a unibrow and mustache. Their short skirts, reminiscent of tutus were sewn under the influence of Shah trip to St. Petersburg, where he was in 1873 at the invitation of Alexander II and looked Russian ballet.


Harem and its secrets

The researchers compared life in the harem of the school for girls in the English style or a convent. Besides young concubines and wives of the ruler in the women's half of the house lived all his female relative, as well as numerous mentors, maids, eunuchs, deputed for the protection and assistance ... Of course, there is seething passion, intrigued, took shape their groups, and every girl wanted only on how to achieve the position of his beloved wife.

Modern holders harems are trying to get their women lived separately and possibly rarely saw each other. Ideally, one should not see the wife as her husband enters the house to the other spouse. However, men of wealth level is not always possible to ensure compliance with these rules. In less affluent families, wives live together and run a joint household.

How do I get into the harem?

Harem and its secrets

Traditionally, the girls and the girls fell into harems differently. Some were bought at slave markets, others were presented as a gift to the rulers of the viziers and the nobles, Third willingly gave relatives, as the stay in the harem of the Sultan or the Shah in the East is considered a prestigious and profitable career for women. Theoretically, even the last maid could become a concubine, and later wife of the ruler. As it happened, for example, with a Slavic girl Anastasiya Lisovskaya, who was kidnapped by the Tatars from Rohatyn in the territory of modern Ukraine and forcibly taken away by the Ottoman Empire. According to legend, it was presented to the young Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in honor of the beginning of his reign, at the time she was only 15 years old.

Harem and its secrets

Beautiful smart girl quickly pushed all the competitors and eventually become the most powerful sultana in the history of the Ottoman Empire. She was allowed what is not allowed to others: to sleep with the Sultan of the queue, to give birth to him not one, but five children, called the honorary title Haseki introduced specially in her honor. About a quarter of a century Anastasia, known as Sultan Hjurrem and Roksolana commanded the sultan, harem, and the Ottoman Empire. It was the only official wife of the Sultan - either before it or after the rulers of the Ottoman Empire did not enter into a formal marriage. Although her son Selim II was not the first son Suleyman, she made sure that it was he who came to power by eliminating the first-born husband. About appearance Roksolany we know thanks to a portrait by an unknown artist, written in the middle of the XVI century. Today, many women want to get into the harems of wealthy men, as it promises material prosperity and signing a contract for several years with some sheik, you can get rich, no matter how one job. This draws in the eastern harems even European and American women. Among polygamous millionaires it is considered prestigious to have wives in the Western Woman of the number of models, celebrities, beauty queens. For example, in numerous harem of the Sultan of Brunei visited the winner of the title "Miss USA - 1992" Shannon Makketik. After a three-month stay in the harem, she sued for using her as a prostitute. However, it was found that no sexual harassment was not a Miss Makketik accessed more than good: for his work, which consisted in the entertainment head Brunei, she received $ 100,000 and a diamond necklace as a gift. By the way, in the palace of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah 1788 halls and rooms - an absolute record in the world and in his harem, according to media reports, has about 700 girls.

Selection and training of

Harem and its secrets

According to the Qur'an, Muslims should not hold Muslims as slaves. Therefore, harems, usually consist of foreign women. Traditionally, demand Slavic, Caucasian girls, were highly regarded Circassian slave. Newcomers arriving in the harem, the first thing given new names, converted to Muslim and taught language. The most beautiful and talented girls were taught reading and writing, singing, dancing, etiquette, because over time they can become mothers heir to the throne. But the chief science was the science of seduction and love: from the prudes and demure grow professionally temptresses.

At the same time she had to remain modest and executive: after the owner threw her favorable opinion, the concubine had to put himself in perfect order with the help of the suite (bathroom, hair removal, to oil, etc.) And crawl on all fours to the bed, proving their obedience and to kiss the edge of the sofa, which is master. After the act of love, it was intended to promote and reward the hierarchy of the harem. In the XXI century education for women there, but there is the selection and testing. The girl should be a virgin, have clean tests for AIDS, undergo medical examination and interview.

Exams recruits harem Swat - mashate. These people observe the behavior of the concubines, and specifically provoke a quarrel, to examine the nature of girls. The woman in the harem to be docile and to be able to put out everyday conflicts. Man to avoid quarrels must be fair: lie with your wives in a queue, no one is deprived of attention and gifts.

staff turnover and divorce

Harem and its secrets

The Europeans have always sympathized with harem, comparing them to the existence of the prison or living in a golden cage. In Oriental women to do with this life style is different: they are happy to be secured and care of men to know that they and their children will not need anything.

In the old days in the harem there was continual staff turnover. Concubines could leave the palace after nine years of service, if there were no demand, then they were given a set of diamond, gold watches, fabrics, and all that was required for home. They also paid a regular allowance. These women were called the palace and enjoyed great respect in the society. At the personal request could leave the harem, and ahead of schedule.

Today, divorce in Islam - is simple enough. Man or woman enough to say three times: "Talaaq, talaq, talaq", which means "divorce, divorce, divorce," and gain freedom. If the wife is one, will have to pay her half of the property, if the two of them - each gets one-third. Children remain in the care of his father. But girls usually stay with their mother.

However, there is a way to stay penniless after living in a harem - commit adultery. If you change the wife four witnesses testify, the husband can not pay anything, but find so many witnesses, it is usually impossible. After the death of the house owner his women usually get freedom. In the days of the Ottoman Empire harem former ruler were moved to the old shabby palace, where the first lady lived on. Today is different. So, Kim Jong-un came to power in 2011, immediately dismissed the father's harem and for some time was pointedly monogamous.

A year earlier, he died 70-year-old Syrian president Hafez al-Assad. The new leader of the country, his son Bashar al-Assad ordered the 40 concubines father to leave Syria for 24 hours without taking anything with them from the personal belongings and valuables. The German newspaper "Bild" pointed out that the Germans were, Swede and a French women - and not a single Arab girl. Officially, Syria is allowed to have one wife, but have a civilian wives nobody forbids.

On the women's happiness

Harem and its secrets

harem rulers can not be called a miserable recluse. They had provided rich entertainment and life: in the palaces had their own theaters, ballet companies and orchestras. Sweet surrounding each bride or wife, provided a pampered lady comprehensive care for looks, as the modern beauty salons: manicure, pedicure, hair, makeup, new clothes and stuff. Eunuchs, even if they could not replace a man's world, but it was diluted with female staff, a visit to the ladies coming artists, musicians, teachers, and the life was not monotonous: allowed play in the garden, walking and other girly fun. In these times have no harem at the disposal of the army maids and eunuchs, homework is necessary to do the most, but the richer spouse, the better the standard of living of its harem. In many countries, due to the emancipation of women do not want to share with the other man, the fashion is monogamy.