SHANBAFF, SINABAFF, &c., s. Pers. shanbaft. A stuff often mentioned in the early narratives as an export from Bengal and other parts of India. Perhaps indeed these names indicate two different stuffs, as we do not know what they were, except that (as mentioned below) the sinabaff was a fine white stuff. Sinabaff is not in Vuller’s Lexicon. Shanabaf is, and is explained as genus panni grossioris, sic descripta (E. T.): “A very coarse and cheap stuff which they make for the sleeves of kabas (see CABAYA) for sale.”—Bahar-i-’Ajam. But this cannot have been the character of the stuffs sent by Sultan Mahommed Tughlak (as in the first quotation) to the Emperor of China. [Badger (quoted by Birdwood, Report on Old Records, 153) identifies the word with sina-bafta, ‘China-woven’ cloths.]

1343.—“When the aforesaid present came to the Sultan of India (from the Emp. of China) … in return for this present he sent another of greater value … 100 pieces of shirinbaf, and 500 pieces of shanbaf.”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 3.

1498.—“The overseer of the Treasury came next day to the Captain-Major, and brought him 20 pieces of white stuff, very fine, with gold embroidery which they call beyramies (beiramee), and other 20 large white stuffs, very fine, which were named sinabafos. …”—Correa, E.T. b. Ld. Stanley, 197.

[1508.—See under ALJOFAR.]

1510.—“One of the Persians said: ‘Let us go to our house, that is, to Calicut.’ I answered, ‘Do not go, for you will lose these fine sinabaph’ (which were pieces of cloth we carried).”—Varthema, 269.

1516.—“The quintal of this sugar was worth two ducats and a half in Malabar, and a good Sinabáffo was worth two ducats.”—Barbosa, 179.

[„ “Also they make other stuffs which they call Mamonas (Mahmudis?), others duguazas (dogazis?), others chautares (see chowtars, under PIECE-GOODS), others sinabafas, which last are the best, and which the Moors hold in most esteem to make shirts of.”—Ibid., Lisbon edition 362.]

SHASTER, s. The Law books or Sacred Writings of the Hindus. From Skt. sastra, ‘a rule,’ a religious code, a scientific treatise.

1612.—“… They have many books in their Latin. … Six of these they call Xastra, which are the bodies; eighteen which they call Purána (Poorana), which are the limbs.”—Couto, V. vi. 3.

1630.—“… The Banians deliver that this book, by them called the Shaster, or the Book of their written word, consisted of these three tracts.”—Lord’s Display, ch. viii.

1651.—In Rogerius, the word is everywhere misprinted Iastra.

1717.—“The six Sastrangól contain all the Points and different Ceremonies in Worship. …”—Phillip’s Account, 40.

1765.—“… at the capture of Calcutta, A.D. 1756, I lost many curious Gentoo manuscripts, and among them two very correct and valuable copies of the Gentoo Shastah.’—J. Z. Holwell, Interesting Hist. Events, &c., 2d edition, 1766, i. 3.

1770.—“The Shastah is looked upon by some as a commentary on the vedam, and by others as an original work.”—Raynal ’tr 1777), i. 50.

1776.—“The occupation of the Bramin should be to read the Beids, and other Shasters.”—Halhed, Gentoo Code, 39.

[SHASTREE, s. Hind. sastri (see SHASTER). A man of learning, one who teaches any branch of Hindu learning, such as law.

[1824.—“Gungadhur Shastree, the minister of the Baroda state, … was murdered by Trimbuckjee under circumstances which left no doubt that the deed was perpetrated with the knowledge of Bajerow.”—Malcolm, Central India, 2nd edition i. 307.]

SHAWL, s. Pers. and Hind. shal, also doshala, ‘a pair of shawls.’ The Persian word is perhaps of Indian origin, from Skt. savala, ‘variegated.’ Sir George Birdwood tells us that he has found among the old India records “Carmania shells” and “Carmania shawools,” meaning apparently Kerman shawls. He gives no dates unfortunately. [In a book of 1685 he finds “Shawles Carmania” and “Carmania Wooll”; in one of 1704, “Chawools” (Report on Old Records, 27, 40). Carmania goats are mentioned in a letter in Forrest, Bombay Letters, i. 140.] In Meninski (published in 1680) shal is defined in a way that shows the humble sense of the word originally: “Panni viliores qui partim albi, partim cineritii, partim nigri esse solent ex lana et pillis caprinis; hujusmodi pannum seu telam injiciunt humeris Dervisii … instar stolae aut pallii.” To this he adds, “Datur etiam sericea ejusmodi tela, fere instar nostri multitii, sive simplicis sive duplicati.” For this the 2nd edition a century later substitutes: “Shal-i-Hindi” (Indian shawl). “Tela sericea subtilissima ex India adferri solita.”

c. 1590.—“In former times shawls were often brought from Kashmír.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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