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Kilim: History and Symbols Hardcover – 27 Oct 1994

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mediocrity... Laced With Flawed Myths 24 Jan 2013
By fastidious one - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will agree that this publication displays photos of some nice kilim specimens. However, the problem with much of the data presented about symbols has always been controversial, and should not be judged as completely reliable or "hard-lined" standards. The author's eight years of research results in rather flawed, laughable conclusions full of conjecture. He simply should not be taken seriously -- unless one might be easily duped as a beginner or intermediate enthusiast courting beautiful lies. Typical examples would be; the pagan "Mother goddess" or "Eli belinde", certain animal motifs such as; "koç" and "akrep", as well as various personal charms / protective [fetish] motifs weaved or embroidered into these kilims that remains largely enigmatic. Style evolution has taken many forms through-out the dispensation of Neolitic times, and the tumultuous and chaotic Byzantine era, including the Seljuk periods.

Islam's (hypocritical) rigid and adverse criticism against human and animal forms has influenced change from traditional designs long before the Turkomen. There is a definite state of unawareness and CONTRADICTION surrounding symbolic origins, even among the vast tribal confederations of Anatolia.

Although highly creative, talented and artistic, the adolescent girls and women which weaved these textiles were certainly uneducated and less than versed with symbol eytmology --- possessing a very weak notion of their pagan lineages at best.

An enhanced focus of discearnment and judgement surrounding natural colors used, wool quality and weaving techniques are also highly credible and revealing (if not crucial). Many of the Anatolian tribes not only migrated through-out various regions, but also inter-married, and took collective ideas and influences from neighbors and others including Caucus regional affiliates through the ages. This means that the kilims, zilis, jijims, etc. may have actually been weaved in A NUMBER OF PLACES, and many of the kilims show hybrid or various tribal influences differing from (so-called) original motifs, different meanings and interpretations.

Utilitarian FUNCTION, diverse and individual creativity are well characterized signatures within antique kilim specimens. The Southern Anatolian (Toros Mountain) regions are among my favorites... Specifically, antique Mut/Icel kilms. There are simply too many myths and silly-laden ideas about kilim symbology. Anyone having experience in carpet and kilim shops through-out Turkey and Asia will certainly hear many ignorant, yet convincing "beautiful" lies.

In short, this is an attractive book, and despite the fact that there are some nice kilims shown, it is really a less than mediocre publication (at best) contextually. There are far better books on the subject of kilims available.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great photots and excellent analysis of each 15 Jan 2013
By E. Wood - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I am an artist and I loved this book for the extraordinary photographs and for the informative text. The most wonderful thing about this book is the intellectual analysis that accompanies each image. The book starts off with a discussion of ancient weaving within the context of the cultural fabric of life at that time in that region. The preface of the book is fascinating, and conveys an academic-level understanding of weaving. This book contains a lot of full-color and full-page images that dissect each kilim and the symbols in each kilim and why it was used, what it represents. I love the way this book illuminates each symbol that is used and what it represents. When you first open this book, you see a bunch of almost psychedelic, random and non-narrative symbols. Once you read it and match up the diagrams that appear alongside each weaving, then you can see a whole world in each piece. Triangles become 'double-headed axes,' and the squares are the 'entrance to the center of the earth,' and once you know what to look for you can almost 'read' each kilim and understand each symbolic representation of gods and goddesses, power, struggle, sex, war, animals, etc. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in symbols (like quilters and fabric designers), or southeast Asian history, decorative arts, or even feminism.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Contents 20 May 2010
By 2crazy4books2 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kilim: History and Symbols - History and Symbols - Dario Valcarenghi, [1994]
"A comprehensive and richly illustrated guide to the development and motifs of the Anatolian kilim, one of the world's most popular craft textiles. Bright, beautiful, and affordable kilims are growing more popular - as rugs and also as furniture coverings, wall hangings, and bags - and buyers are becoming more sophisticated in their knowledge of fine, authentic pieces. The author, who travels widely to study, collect, and deal in kilims, examines the rich history and symbolism of Anatolian kilims in this engaging book. For thousands of years, these handmade textiles have carried complex motifs and symbols related to life and spirituality, motifs which are discussed in fourteen concise sections, including explanations of designs like The Primordial Water, The Open Hands, and The Kilim of the Seven Goddesses. The clear and lively text and 150 full-color plates are further illustrated with dozens of black-and-white drawings which help the reader to recognize and interpret the various kilim types and motifs, making this an unbeatable volume for the seasoned collector or for the first-time buyer of these much-loved textiles"
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