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Kilim: History and Symbols Hardcover – 27 Oct 1994

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity... Laced with Myths and Distortions 24 Jan. 2013
By fastidious one - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This publication displays photos of some nice kilim specimens. However, the problem with much of the data presented about historical 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 cannot be taken seriously -- unless one might be easily duped as a beginner or intermediate enthusiast courting beautiful lies. Typical "interpretive" examples are; the pagan "Mother goddess" or "Eli Belinde"; animal motifs ("koç", "akrep", "simurg" / dragon / bird motifs, as well as various personal charms / protective [fetish] motifs historically weaved or embroidered into utilitarian weavings. They remain largely dubious and with lack of original design intent. Style evolutions have taken many forms throughout the dispensation of Neolitic times, especially the tumultuous and chaotic Byzantine eras and Seljuk periods.

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

Although highly creative, talented and artistic, the adolescent girls and women which originally weaved these textiles were certainly uneducated and less than versed with symbol eytmology -- aside from their clan's ideologies -- possessing a very weak and dismissive notion of their pagan lineages at best, while favoring a religious [Islamic] twist.

Any enhanced focus of discearnment and judgement surrounding natural color derivatives used, wool quality and weaving techniques also provides highly credible and revealing - if not crucial - evidence. Through the ages, many of the Anatolian tribes not only migrated - or were "resettled" through-out various regions - they also intermarried and shared collective ideas and influences from neighbors and others, including Caucus regional affiliates. This means that kilims, zilis, jijims, cuvals, etc. may have actually been weaved in A NUMBER OF PLACES, and most - if not all - weavings display "cultural hybridity", or various influences and evolution differing from (so-called) originally accredited motifs.

Utilitarian FUNCTION, diversity and individual creativity are well characterized signatures within all antique specimens. The Southern Anatolian Toros Mountain regions are among my favorite... Specifically, the (so-called) Mut / 'İçel classifications. There are simply too many myths and silly-laden ideas about kilim symbology. Anyone having experience in carpet and kilim shops through-out Türkiye 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 mediocre publication (at best). There are far better sources of information on the subject of kilims available.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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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