Re: Eagletons' birds;

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Posted by Michael Wendorf on December 29, 1998 at 23:50:47:

In Reply to: Re: Eagletons' birds; posted by Bill Eagleton on December 29, 1998 at 21:52:12:

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: : : : : 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

: Dear All Concerned Birdwatchers:

: I did not know that Eagleton's Birds would emerge from Plate 12 and become a topic of serious rug speculation. Looking at both Plates 11 and 12 (11 provided thoughtfully by Michael Wendorf) I suspect that there is a larger spread in years between the two than I had indicated (1900 for Plate 12 and 1890 for Plate 11). Plate 11 is the more typical 19th century Sauj Bulaq and is probably a full generation earlier than Plate 12.

: Regarding tribal attributions for Sauj Bulaq rugs, please note that Debokri is the current name for what previously was referred to as Mokri. The "Sauj Bulaq" rugs of the past 50 years or so are said to come from the Mamash and Mangur tribes in the mountains northwest of Mahabad (Sauj Bulaq). I do not know whether they should be given major credit for the 19th century Sauj Bulaqs.

: Cheers,
: Bill Eagleton

Dear Birdwatchers:
What a privilege to hear from Bill Eagleton, one of the few to actually go out, journey, live and do some field research; and with great respect for the people and their material and political culture. I sure will sleep better tonight knowing that the Debokri that Bill associates with the area in question are the same Mokri or Mukri that I was associating with the area in the 19th century. I guess we made a little progress. Thanks for tuning in Bill. Michael

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