Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(821 words)

In the Islamic world, Jews who made their living by peddling sold both to Jews and to Muslims. In dealing with the latter, the Jewish peddler (known as a dewwās in Morocco, ṭawwāf in Libya, and dore-gard in Iran) relied upon the protection of local Muslim notables who would be dishonored if the peddler was harmed. Jewish peddlers had certain advantages over Muslim competitors intrinsic to their lowly status in the Islamic world. Their presence in Muslim homes posed little threat to family honor, because an affair or elopement with a Muslim woman was unthin…

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Thomas Park, “Peddling”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0017390>
First published online: 2010

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