Re: mid 18th cent. yomud border - re Larry Joseph's request

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Posted by Tom Cole on December 25, 1998 at 08:23:51:

In Reply to: Re: mid 18th cent. yomud border posted by James Allen on December 23, 1998 at 20:14:46:

: : : :
: : : : : I have had numerous posts at home from people truly wanting to understand the white(light grey) dominant perspective. I have chosen a segment from a mid 18th century Yomud carpet that is published in the current edition of Ghereh magazine. I chose this border segment because the subject matter of the designs is so well known. In "PERSEPHONIES QUEST" by OTT ET AL the associaation is drawn between four elements which are part of a world wide mythological association. All the myths have the form, some heavenly entity performs an action which has as its real world correlate , thunder and lightning. This is seen in the context of a god impregnating the earth and the result being the production of a crop of mushrooms, food of the gods. We think the connection is drawn to mushrooms because so many of their spores are microscopic or almost so. The natives could detect no seeds so the hypothesis of god impregnating the earth. Now as I read this account in this very fine book from Princeton University I realized that my theories would predict that a Turkoman rug, really old, should have this myth coded into a design complex. It didn't take me an hour to fine the first example. Many more have been found since. Look at the picture I linked to this post. Read the white first, squint and block out almost all the visual data. Pick out the white forms. Now there is an isolated triangular form,colored. Its saw tooth bottom cuts out two small triangles. See the triangle under the large colored tirangular shape as the head of an eagle. Let your eye connect the head to the triangular body with upswept line(wing). This white line proceeds downward where it turns inward and a sharp "flash" juts off. This occurs in roughly the genitel region of the bird figure. The large colored chevron shape has a flat base and an angular superstructure. This chevron shape could be seen to slam back and forth as the great eagle(spirit) flapped its wings making thunder. All the elements are here. Mapping the elements found on this rug to the myth the border repeat seems to be saying. The great bird flaps its wings and sends thunder and lightning crashing down to the earth. The result is that in this place in a few months a crop of mushrooms we will return to find. The mushroom interdigitated with the heads of the great spirit may relate to the fact that the fly agaric was taken in shamanic rituals to help release the spirit bird within. I truly hope this helps the seekers to see the hidden designs and meanings in classical Turkoman weaving, the best in the world. James Allen

: : : : Dear Jim:
: : : : Please excuse my using your latest post to respond or follow up to several other posts in related threads.
: : : : Responding to my earlier request that you work backwards and identify first the images and then the associations that you claim you "know to have existed" you responded that "the position that I am making sweeping unsupportable assertions is correct." You then went on to state that my statements about the Turkomans' fate in the 13-16th centuries is wrong.
: : : : First, allow me to point out that "my statements" are in fact the consensus statements of scholars as referenced and attributed in my post. I am merely relating them. Second, allow me to examine the basis for your contention that the statements are wrong.
: : : : You cite James Chambers' The Devil's Horsemen and represent that Chambers concludes it was an Ersari horseman who knew the desert who lead the Khan on his famous end around move on the Persian Empire and that the Turkoman became his crack inner guard.
: : : : I did not remember it this way so I went back to Chamber's book which is primarily a military history.

: : {Gigantic SNIP....}

: : : : I would be less troubled by your theories if they were advanced for what they are with a little more humility and a little less stridency. It is OK to understand, then reject the work of others and advance your own thoughts, however contrary to convention. Here, I am afraid your ideas are based on perhaps sincerely felt, but deeply flawed, over generalizations and on over broad, fanciful mischaracterizations of a very complicated historical record convenient to your
: : : : theories, theories from which everything else must be cut, pasted and made to fit into your vision.
: : : : Something else to chew on. Michael Wendorf.

: : : : Single sailed swoop, try the first few pages of Peter Saunders book, there is a very nice picture of one there. The magnitude of your response speaks volumns about the strength of my position. the Russian sources you quote are looked with derision by most Western scholars. Otts book is considered a bench mark in its field. I am not going to quibble with you about this subject. There is no map. I have sources for everything I posted and your rendering of chambers thoughts are not exactly unbiased. I am not on trial, or am I? I don't have the footnotes for 20 years study at instant ready. The real question here is why don't you deal witht he obviously very very clear example of my princile, whose body you have interjected this unnecessary invective under.

: : Dear Jim,

: : Quibble? Quibble!?!

: : It would appear obvious to the most casual, disinterested observer that Michael wasn't raising quibbles. He was addressing the basic assumptions of your theory of interpretation - using your own sources to refute them. (Since I cannot, for the life of me, "see" what you see in these pieces, I'm paying close attention in hopes of figuring out what I'm missing.)

: : I like to keep an open mind about alternative interpretations of just about anything, not just symbolism/iconography of rugs. But the more I follow this discussion, the more I'm in favor of classifying your theory somewhere between Mellaart's "Goddess" theory and Von Danniken's "Chariots of the Gods."

: : On another note: REPRODUCIBILITY is the hallmark of the scientific method. If others can't reproduce the same results from a similar experiment, the theory can't be confirmed. That is what is happening here, Jim. You are apparently the only person who can see/interpret these designs. (And please don't take this the wrong way....) But this is exactly the same situation as a person who believes that Dan Rather is talking in code to him on the Evening News. No one else is aware of this, yet he "knows" what he has seen - is completely convinced he's been sent a message. (I'm not suggesting that you're looney, Jim, just that the two behaviors are very, very similar.)

: : Cordially,

: : -Jerry-
: : Jerry I can see you have tried to be objective and i have no idea why the task seems so hard to you and the others. Perhaps it is because you as a group don't collect Turkomen weaving primarily and have little motivation to see it decoded. I have included one last 18th century border repeat which clearly shows the power of my technique. In this border two elephants heads are interdigitated. The upright elephant head has a curled trunk and it is trumpeting for this curling of the trunk often accompanies this loud signal. The reciprocal elephants head has a straight trunk. The scale and clarity are similar to the 18th century yomud border everybody has been so careful not to mention. These two borders are so obviously white dominant and just exactly what I say they are it should send you to the opthalmologist for an examination if you can't see it. Have fun trying. JIM ALLEN

Larry- I assume this is the posting or group of postings you asked me to comment upon. I have no problem with reading the white ground as elephants. But getting back to the concept of dualistic interpretation, the familiar 'curled leaf' border may also be seen as the tail of a mythical beast, such as the types of animals depicted in the early animal rugs which have emerged from Tibet. The Anatolian origin of these rugs is anything but certain and the relationship (direct or otherwise) of this group of weavings to Central Asian peoples is probable. I have no personal knowledge of a curled leaf myth in Central Asian lore, but the beasts seem to be a recurring theme.

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