The Genetic Component in Weaving

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon B ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by J. Barry O'Connell Jr. on November 24, 1998 at 06:33:57:

The Genetic Component in Weaving

It seems ridiculous to believe that weaving could have a genetic component. But then I got to thinking about birds. Back before I studied rugs I used to go bird watching. I was also involved with a group that was reintroducing raptors to city environments. The birds were hatched and then introduced into a city environment and raised in simulated normality. These birds did not need to be taught how to build a nest. It was instinctual. It had to be because the bird was raised without others of it's kind to teach it. Then I started thinking about all the various kinds of nests that I had seen in the wild and how eagles build eagle nests and barn swallows build their own distinct nests. The birds nest as they do as a species. There are no Indian Trading posts necessary to teach eagles how to build their nests and you can not train an eagle to construct a swallow like nest. Now when you compare the complexity of some of the more exotic nests versus the relative size of their brains and compare that to humans and weaving I can not discount a genetic component in human weaving. The bird has an instinct that lets it weave a nest. We can reason and supercede our instincts but what are our instincts but a genetic coding that we do not really understand. Maybe John Howe can comment since with his dog breeding experience he may have a thought on genetics and bloodline specific instinctual behavior.

I was struck by a talk of Dr. EJW Barber who showed plaid cloth woven by the ancestors of my people. It looked about the same as cloth woven by my kin in our homeland today. 5000 years and the weaving stays the same. Could it be coincidence? Sure it could, but this area needs study.

It is all too easy to make light of the things that we do not understand. For a discussion to be truly meaningful we need to listen and try to understand things even when they sound implausible. I have a dear friend who at times sounds like a wild eyed lunatic in some of the things he says but when I listen and try to really understand his points he makes more sense than some college professors that I know.
Best wishes,
J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon B ] [ FAQ ]