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Posted by PAT WEILER on December 28, 1998 at 21:33:46:

In Reply to: Re: ZOROASTRIAN PALMETTE posted by Marvin Amstey on December 28, 1998 at 20:18:23:

: : : Dear Jim,
: : : It's a nice idea but I think that many rugs from other origins having borders containing stylized scrolling vines and flowers could then also be related.

: : : What's sure is that the flowers contained in the main border of the Eagleton rug were very common in North Eastern Persia and surrounding area. This kind of flowers have been used as well field filler elements as in the borders.

: : : Do you know why the flame like palmettes of the Meyer Muller rug are labeled "Zoroastrian"?.
: : : What is typically Zoroastrian in these palmettes. Can you show other palmettes that were also labeled Zoroastrian.?
: : : I assume it is the mental linkage between the "sizzeling orange" surround and asymmetric horozontal axial symmetry of the palmette, sitting buddah without the buddah. The Zorostrian religion has as its dominant visual metaphor the "eternal flame" and its correlate in the Christian religion is found in the book of Hebrews where the writer exclaims ,"our God is a burning fire". Essentially my position is just one of simple similarity, the "flame palmette" looks like an empty "Tanka". Jim Allen
: : : Many thanks for your help

: : : Daniel

: The flame palmette, to me, looks like a standard fir tree seen in many Baluchi pieces except that these Kurdish rugs use spectacular colors to illustrate a straight forward pine tree. Marvin

Zoroastrians worship the winged symbol Ahura-Mazda, as their main god. Fire is important in their religion, too, but I don't see Ahura-Mazda in the rugs. In Iran, bonfires are lit during the Sadeh festival on the 10th day of Bahman (50 days before Naw Ruz) March 21st.
Perhaps this may explain the "fire" symbols. They could also be abstractions of palmettes from Safavid-era rugs.

Pat Weiler

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