Posted by R. John Howe on December 14, 1998 at 05:41:22:
In Reply to: pic.# 10 posted by James Allen on December 13, 1998 at 22:04:12:
Jim et al -
The question of what these designs might represent is interesting but I'm trying to encourage exploration of a different set of questions here. What differences do you see in the drawing of the outside lines of the guls in PIC10 and PIC11? Is one of these renderings "superior" in some sense? Why or why not?
: Here the asymmetric placement of "gulls" in spaces or lacunae serve an entirely different purpose. I fully believe that the pre-Moslem Turkoman aesthetic was far more representational. Charlie Whitfield has the only known nomadic archetypal example of this,pic.#10, type chuval. Having studied Charlies piece I can tell you that our normal percertion of this pattern is 100% wrong. It is positively shocking to have this pattern exposed after one has looked at similar examples for years and not seen their true nature. In many forms of primitive art members of a society ,such as the Bwami society among the Lega of the ituri forest in the Congo, have sculptural or other types of representational art which shows the members of a group sharing one eye. This means that each face has its unique look composed of elements from two other unique individuals. Look at pic.#10 now. Look for the large diamond shape outline, it goes from top of field to bottom with a saw tooth on top. Now see the two lacunae filled with off center "gulls' as eyes and the associated and triangulated lower lacunae and "gull" as a mouth. Do you see the very large and powerful faces looking at you. These faces represented members of a raptors cult. The lower set of faces using the mens mouths for eyes are those of baby raptors. In the larger format version of this design the heads of the men are encompassed by mature raptors heads. Quite shocking when one comes to see it for the first time. Jim Allen
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