Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >RK examines Anatolian Kelim
Part X
Tue, Jan 5th, 2010 06:44:19 PM
Topic: RK examines Anatolian Kelim
Part X

Above is a detail of the archaic group kelim that is very similar to the one published in Part IX.

This kelim appears as Plate 2, in our Image Idol Symbol: Ancient Anatolian Kelim book and also on the Weaving Art Museum website exhibition.

Below, with several small edit changes, is the text description on that website and, like the other, is an abbreviation of the more detailed one in our book.

Plate 2; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989
Size: 11 ft. 3 in. x 2 ft. 5 in.
337.5 cm. x 72.5 cm.

In the next part of our Anatolian kelim examination RK will show how these two kelim, more than any others, are the major source for many of the Classic period, and later, pastiche types we mentioned but have yet to discuss.

In Part XI we will frame out what we mean by pastiche type kelim and show by example how the iconography on many of these pieces is directly, or indirectly, derived from these two kelim, as well as other Archaic group examples.

So please enjoy what we wrote below and remember this was written in 1987/88.

An additional note: In Part XI, RK will broaden and enlarge the scope of several comments this text mentions but does not flesh out, comments we have in the past 20 plus years often thought about and spent considerable time researching.

Plate Two

Plate One is animated and vibrant, quite unlike the serene presence of Plate Two.

Plate 1; “Image Idol Symbol:Ancient Anatolian Kelim”; vol.2, 1989

Visual differences aside, the similarity of materials, spinning, weaving, and dyeing all lead to the conclusion that these two kelims were woven contemporaneously, possibly by the same weaver.

Were they made as a pair or is each half of a different pair?

This question and in fact the larger issue of whether or not Plates Four or Five also had a matching other half can not be answered at this time.

It is this writer’s opinion the Archaic group kelims made in this format were, like later examples, also made in pairs.

But unlike the later examples, these halves were designed to be viewed alone and not necessarily as part of a pair.

Originally, they may have been displayed draped over a large object which created two panels, where each half appeared as a self-contained image.

The designs on these slit-tapestries are very different, as each was influenced by different styles of deity representation - Plate One utilizing the earlier prehistoric style, and Plate Two the later historic style.

This stylistic difference was based on the change from female or goddess centered beliefs to male or god centered.

Such a change is well supported by the archaeological record, male effigies are almost nonexistent until c.2500BC but afterwards become the predominant style.

During this time period, the late Bronze Age, male dominance was responsible for the centralization of political, economic and military power.

These new conventions replaced the previous social, political as well as religious orientation based on the earlier less developed Paleolithic/Neolithic models.

The differences in the style the major designs were drawn was directly tied to this changeover, and these two weavings must have had an important significance within the confines of the strict weaving culture which produced them.

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