Re: Eagletons' birds;

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Posted by Michael Wendorf on December 29, 1998 at 11:20:24:

In Reply to: Re: Eagletons' birds; posted by James Allen on December 29, 1998 at 10:36:16:

: :
: : : Is it just me or is it ironic Eagleton would collect a rug whose central focal point was two symbolic white ground bird figures with highly stylized anthropomorphic vestiges roughly in a fetal position within the birds. Of course those white ground bird figures might actually be Mederterranian octupii in a garden in the shade, but they would be warm beneath the waves dancing over their heads. Could these enigmatic figures also point a finger Eastward towards perhaps some sedentary wayfaring nomads holed up in a Persian village or town in need of a job. It is interesting that the border is clearly related to the Muyer-Muller but later. Jim Allen

: : Jim : I think it is just you. Sedentary wayfaring nomads? But why don't you ask Eagleton himself. I called and alerted him to this discussion last night. His e-mail is Check out Charles Grant Ellis and Daniel Walker if you want to read about Mogul, Indian, Persian cross over influences. There is alot of information out there. Michael Wendorf
: : Regards, Michael Wendorf

: : I really didn't know you were such a student of history. I have studied central Asia from the Eastern perspective. My chief source is E H Parker who was professor of Chinese at Victoria Univ. of Manchester. He had a chance to study the complete assembled history of China from all original sources. Understand i am not disagreeing with anything specific you are saying just trying to distinguish the difference between our methods. I have a reasonable set of expectations concerning the nomads from my studies of their ethnohistory. You obviously have an education in Central Asian history and politics. I have spent my energy in a Vico inspired effort to "recall" the native experience. There are those who deny this is possible but experience shows it can. I see the birds hidden and not hidden in many many nomadic weavings. The nomad was not generally literate so the world was his textbook. The habits of animals was so well known an abstract rendering if properly identified was automatically a significant sign with a great deal of meaning. Add to this the Turkomans penchant for animist identification and it becomes clear that these hidden birds defined a cultural complex and places the weaving within a traditional spectrum. Eagletons birds prove to me that the weavers were once Turkoman or were sympathetic to the Turkoman nomadic way of seeing the world. This kind of knowledge does require some faith but certainty is not an option for you or for me. James Allen

Dear Jim:
I thought we had agreed to disagree at the end of the last salon. I am hesitant to engage you further on these musings. I don't see the connection between Parker, who I understood to have written on the history of the "Tatars", and your so-called studies of ethnohistory aimed at recalling the native experience. As for abstract renderings of animals, it seems to me that when the Turkomans wanted to depict a bird or a camel or a goat they knew how to do it. Witness the great Tekke bird asmalyks, the Salor ensis and numerous other widely known examples of torbas, asmalyks and other weavings with very straightforward depictions of animals.
I don't think Eagleton's "birds" as you call them prove anything about the weavers' or their sympathies. If you would like to continue this discussion, perhaps we should do it directly since it is clear to me we are not helping the focus of this salon to progress. Michael Wendorf

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