Fakir

Fakirs

Fakirs

[Original caption] Fakirs. The Fakirs are a large body of religious fanatics. They go naked or in filthy rags, and partake only of the meanest food, and that without request or thanks.

A Mendicant

A Mendicant

The term mendicant refers to begging or relying on charitable donations, and is most widely used for religious followers or ascetics who rely on charity to survive. Plate & Co.

Alastor Mystic

Alastor Mystic

[Original back of advertising card] Alastor-Mystic-The Astrologer, Handreader and Clairvoyant from England. May be Consulted Daily at the Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta, Room 59. (Hours 10 A.M. to 7 P.M.

A Mountebank

A Mountebank

A curious case of an Italian word finding itself stamped upon a postcard of a characteristic type in India (the fakir, in this case a mendacious one). Mountebank is an old word for a charlatan, or salesman of quack medicines.

Calcutta

Calcutta

A fourth card in Rossler’s 1897 lithographic series of Calcutta features a fakir, the male counterpoint to the nautch dancer. Above the fakir is his spiritual guide along lifelong wanderings, Lord Shiva.

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