Posted by James Allen on December 20, 1998 at 12:42:53:
In Reply to: Chuval guls etc. posted by Yon Bard on December 20, 1998 at 11:47:45:
: Jim, I'd be interested in hearing your interpretation of the different variations of the chuval guls, e.g., as depicted by the Pinners in Mackey and Thompson pp. 204-5: what is the significance of flag vs. bracket, or 12-triangle vs. arrows or rosette centers? I won't even ask about different chemches, as there seem to be hundreds of variations.
: Another question: do you think the average Turkoman weaver was aware of what her weavings signify, or was she just copying patterns?
: Finally, semi-abstract representations such as you claim these to be are usually believed to develop out of earlier, more realistic, representations. If this is the case, where are the 'leopard rugs' and 'horse or elephant rugs' that should have preceded these torbas?
: Regards, Yon
:It is my opinion that essentially all Turkomen tribes were at one time in history associated with the Chinese. The usual association was that of border buffer against other more threatning civilizations. The great wall of China wasn't logical from a defense against an outside force point of view so what if it was for keeping peasants at home and in one place? The current round of Turkoman expression in Central asia came about approximately 1300 years ago. Their aesthetic ideal would have been chinese roundrels, emblems of rank, whose interior designs would not have translated into the presumably coarse fabrics of 800AD. Why coarse? Because of the tough times, they were in flight, and the constant movement, where would they fit into the existing scheme of things, the bad lands so named because that is what they were, BAD LANDS. From this incredibly difficult beginning the first few generations of gull would have been octagonal, approximating the circle. Their interiors would have harkened back to the wellsprings of their mass subconscious minds, the provance of the shaman whose job it was to remember. I believe the octagon progressed to the asymmetric and deeply meaningful octagonal gull we know from the Jenkins chuval and my old tekke chuval. This iconography isn't so different from this mid 19th century Tekke torba. In the old salor octagonal gull a great eagle stands its wins poised before it. These wings ready to act in vision are interdigitated with the sail of a single masted swoop. This translates into the wings of the great spirit bird inflates the sails of our spirit boats. The horozontal axis, the horizon, is watched over by sitting birds. The vertical axis seems to me to be capped by mushroom images and the shamans use of mushrooms is well documented. The primitive octagonal positive design when expanded and when its edges abutted another gulls edges their intersection was the genesis of the positive image of the chuval gull. This was one of the first major developments in Turkoman art and I am quite sure the chuval gull was th e modern and dominant gull of the 14th century, re Pinners Timurid minitures. James Allen
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