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  • "a particular class of elite female singling slaves known as the qiyan (sing., qayna).(note 10)" , p108

    Richardson, Kristina. "Singing slave girls (qiyan) of the ‘Abbasid court in the ninth and tenth centuries." Children in Slavery through the Ages (2009): 105-118. http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780821443392/9780821443392-12.pdf

    Note 10, pages 116-117 elaborates:
    "The Arabic language has various names for the singing slave girls. The term qayna (pl., qiyan) refers specifically to a female slave who has been trained as a singer, poet, or musician (or all three). Qayna is the femine form of qayn, skilled worker. Other terms in use do not embody the meaning of female singing slave. Jariya (pl, jawari) means simply female slave, and mughanniya (pl., mughanniyai) designates a female singer. These two words are often used independently in medieval Arabic literature to signify singing slave girl. But if an author wants to avoid any ambiguity, he couples the terms, and the resulting phrase jariya mughanniya (pl, jawari mughanniyai) is synonymous with qayna.

    February 4, 2016