Re: Decoding the octagonal gulls symbolic meaning

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Posted by Jerry Silverman on December 22, 1998 at 13:02:46:

In Reply to: Re: Decoding the octagonal gulls symbolic meaning posted by James Allen on December 22, 1998 at 10:36:45:

: : The scale of the picture is too small to see the guls in detail. You (or someone else) should post a larger image of a section of octagonal gul.

: : Also, you refer to "desert adapted nomadic symbology and the end product of 4-6 centuries of uninterrupted nomadic in situ evolutionary development", then further state "I am 100% sure of my ability to read the octagonal gulls symbolic meaning." Please provide your "decoded" interpretation of this piece.

: : Regards,

: : Larry

Jim Allen answered Larry's request for a "decoding" thusly:

: : There is no mystery here, Larry.

Is there a Nobel Prize for unintentional hilarity?

The gull is the same as the Jenkins piece published in Turkmen by Mackie and Thompson,plate 8, or look in your Ghereh magazine. I have gone on the record as saying that the gulls four major repeats, two red and two white, represents a single sailed swoop, the traditional Turkoman boat. The sail is represented as being turned at a angel to the plane of the weaving. The sail is interdigitated with a representation of the great spirit bird, eagle. The clear visual implication is that this great spirit inflates the sails of the Turkoman boats. The red boats I imagine represent living or real boats while the white ones are spirit boats. The Turkoman was not unfamiliar with various forms of sending off the dead; on a sledge, in a boat, or tied to a tree. These various types of death rituals are well known to the shamans of Asia, indeed the whole world. The horozontal axis, horizon, is watched over by a pair of sitting birds. the vertical axis, the mental axis towards the heavens, is capped by what I believe is the representation of a mushroom which also has bird like properties.All Asian shamanic practices involved mushroom usage. JIM

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