Rare Book Society of India


A Parsee Dastur (Priest) – 1870

Full-length standing carte-de-visite portrait of a Parsi priest (Dastur), one of a series of prints of ethnic types and occupations taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the early 1870s. The Parsees, or Parsis, are descendants of Persians who fled to India in the seventh and eighth centuries to escape Muslim persecution. Their communities are concentrated in Maharashtra and Gujarat states, especially in Bombay. The Parsis are Zoroastrian, often described as fire-worshippers. However, they do not worship fire, instead they revere many aspects of nature as manifestations of the divinity of Ahura Mazdah.

Dasturs are Zoroastrian priests having authority and scholarship. In present usage it is applied to a high priest.

Copyright © The British Library Board

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