Posted by Wendel Swan on December 16, 1998 at 07:07:48:
Pics #1 and #2
The Pic #1 ensi must have been woven by only one weaver; no village, however tiny, could have two weavers of such demonstrable incompetence. Assuming that its weaver was very young and inexperienced, we can only hope that her skills eventually improved or that she didn't seek the alternative career of neurosurgery.
It is a quintessential "Oops" rug: filled with mistakes. As such, it has little or no appeal to me and I question whether any conclusions about age can be reached from such an inarticulately woven piece. One might be able to tell more from an actual examination, but not through the monitor. I reject the notion that terms such as "archaic" or "naive" or "primitive" have any application to this example.
Unfortunately, the image of Pic 2 doesn't come through quite clearly enough to compare and contrast it fully with Pic 1, although Pic 2 seems to be quite carefully drawn and probably is the type of rug that the weaver of Pic 1 struggled to replicate.
It seems to me that there are several implications to John's questions in this series:
1) Do we see the "errors"? (Or are there those among us who are indifferent to such errors or are "skill blind" much as others are color blind or tone deaf?)
2) Do we consider them errors?
3) Do the errors matter? (The answer must be given in the context of the particular rug and the culture within which it is woven.)
Ultimately, these questions are answered individually in a series of balancing acts.
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