Posted by Tom Cole on November 24, 1998 at 20:40:23:
In Reply to: Re: Salatchaks' design posted by Erol Abit on November 23, 1998 at 14:16:52:
: : : represents a leopards' skin. Now what type of activity would one do with a representational leopard skin. The activity would be associated with high prestigue and a low budget else use a real leopard skin. Prayer is a good guess. Jim Allen
: : My interpretation, too, is that this represents a spotted leopard skin. The Dervishes would carry a small animal skin or rug representing one with them. The dervishes were ascetic Sufi's. They are not unknown in the area this rug may have been woven in. They would use it to sit upon, sleep on, etc.
: : If it were, instead, for wrapping a baby, leopard skins are seen in miniature paintings covering shahs and heroes of Iran. Tanavoli writes about this in Kings, Heroes & Lovers.
: The zig-zag shape on the border and mixture of orange and red colors. No green which is symbolic color of islam. No blue which is symbolic color of Turks. That means this is not an artificial color mixture designed by weaver for holy purposes. So it must be a copy of a real object. As you said, for example, an animal skin or fur. Animal skins were usually used on the floor. Its function may be to pray on it or to cover a baby sleeping on the floor as I was always sleeping when I was child. Finely woven and mihrap figure. And these supports the guess that it is a prayer rug rather than covering a baby on the floor or in salincak (or salatchak - cradle). If it is representative animal skin, it can also be used for camouflage purpose when one wrapped around himself. But why leopard? I think this animal is not known as well as wolf in the northern and lion in the southern parts of central asia. Might it have been woven in another region?
: Another idea: when I saw the image of this rug, threshing sled came into my mind. I used this farmer tool one time when I was very small child. I remember there were diamond shape white stones inserted into the sled (I don't know how you call this kind of stone but it is a kind of stone with diamond shape which spark when one is rubbed against another). Maybe this is prayer rug which represents a threshing sled with diamond stones rather than animal skin.
: Even if it doesn't represent threshing sled, these diamond shaped stones might have been used on another object which this rug represents.
Everyone has mentioned animal skin in the same breath as leopard skin. Why a leaopard? I think the Central Asian tradition for the use of an animal pelt with the associations everyone is striving towards in this discussion would be a tiger pelt. And the abbreviated stripes resemble tiger stripes much more than the spots of a leopard.
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