Turkish Kilim Symbols - The FolkArt Gallery
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Visual Language of Turkish Kilims

The Visual Language of Turkish Kilims
Most Turkish kilim designs have their roots in the conservative, indigenous, pre-Christian and pre-Islamic backgrounds of the rural population and are related to the basic themes of life: birth, marriage, fertility; spiritual life and happiness; love and unison; and death. They reflect the ancient cults and practices of their ancestors around these events. There are many symbols in the vocabulary of the weaver and many stylizations of each symbol. Unlocking the keys to these symbols reveals a deeper insight into the values, dreams and culture of the Anatolian people and expresses layer upon layer of history and influence in the region.

Nazarlik Nazarlik: an amulet to protect against the evil eye, cause of harm, injury and misfortune.
Elebelinde Elebelinde: symbol of motherhood and fertility, originating in the Neolithic cult of the Mother Goddess.

Ram's Horn

Ram's Horn: male fertility, heroism, power and masculinity.

Comb

Hands, Fingers and Combs: the hand motif protects against spells and the evil eye while the comb protects birth and marriage.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life: symbol of life and paradise; represents man's yearning for immortality and life after death.

Niche

Niche: place of honor, or a doorway into paradise.



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