About the degree to which "Mahound"-worshippers were considered to be
specifically Saracen/"other"/black: I've seen a number of marginalia
depicting jousting knights where one of the knights has a dark blue
face. I've always thought this was meant to represent a "black" i.e.,
Moorish i.e., Saracen knight (would it be too hard to draw facial
features on a face that had been painted black? whereas you can draw
in black on dark blue?).
I'm writing this away from my office, but I think that at least one of
these pictures occurs in the Bodleian Roman d'Alexandre (14th c?)--the
MS. that has all the marginalia of courtly recreation, including mummers.
Perhaps the "blue knight" marginalia (marginalium?) is also meant to
relate to mumming or other performances? Certainly a Saracen figures
in various later mummers' plays, but I suppose it's dangerous to read
backwards from that.
Anyway, if the blue knight doesn't represent orientalism, he's sure
plugging into some kind of alterity.
University of North Dakota