TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  A Few Good Men (continued)
Author  :  Fred Mushkat mailto:%20mushkat@apex.net
Date  :  07-20-2001 on 09:51 a.m.
The human figures in the Italian rug have also appeared in similar form on other weavings from 19th Century Iran.

This photo is a detail from a Balouch rug first published in HALI 30, page 13, then later in Opie's Tribal Rugs, page 243. This obviously male figure sporting exposed genitalia appears twice on the rug, once as shown, and once from the waist down. Why would this image appear on this rug? Did the weaver have a problem verbalizing her sexual desire? It is my opinion, not based upon any fieldwork into the mind set of nomadic pastoralists, that no pornographic meaning was intended. Rather, this rug may be a dowry item, with the male figure placed on the rug to remind the newlyweds of the importance of fecundity. What could be more important to the survival of the tribe than to make more members?

I have seen almost identical examples on two different Afshar pile khorjin pouches, and on an Iranian jajim.

Adherents to the Mother Goddess theory may argue that these images represent a birthing symbol, but in the patriarchal society in which these textiles were made, I believe the images are exactly what they appear to be, namely well endowed men, prepared to reproduce. (If you are inclined to examine each knot which makes up the genitalia on this image, I advise you to not let anyone you know see you doing it.)

Subject  :  Re:A Few Good Men (continued)
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  07-20-2001 on 10:10 a.m.
Dear Fred,

An interesting thing about these figures (the one you posted and the larger of the group on the Ialian Rug) is how similar they are in some details. The form of the head (the one at the top of the body), and the two spots on the torso (presumably, one is the navel).

Vis-a-vis your statement, What could be more important to the survival of the tribe than to make more members?, the weavers of the rugs in question certainly were doing their part.

Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:A Few Good Men (continued)
Author  :  Wendel Swan mailto:%20wdswan@erols.com
Date  :  07-20-2001 on 12:45 p.m.
Dear Fred,

The Belouch image demonstrates, I believe, the essentially Persianate nature of much of Belouch iconography. What a difference color palette makes.

Perhaps I have become too "hung up" on the details of these human images and the import thereof. But note that in your Belouch man and the white figure in the Italian carpet (but not in the gold and red figures) there are five knots forming a cross in the center of the chest.

Perhaps the heart symbolizes the concept of male strength. As this discussion progresses, I become more convinced that these nuances are not unintended or insignificant.


Subject  :  Re:A Few Good Men (continued)
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  07-21-2001 on 10:33 a.m.
Dear People,

I thought this image, from HALI #58, p. 120, might give us something to think about.

It's a detail of a textile from Borneo. The resemblance of the private parts on these guys to those on the rugs we've been looking at is pretty striking, don't you think?

But wait! Look at the left and right hand sides of the image. There are more identical private parts, but without the attached human figures. Maybe things aren't quite what they seem.

Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:A Few Good Men (continued)
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  07-23-2001 on 06:16 p.m.
Losers in a war between cannibals?


Powered by UltraBoard 2000 <http://www.ub2k.com/>