Re: Religions or east&west?

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Posted by Marvin Amstey on February 02, 1999 at 19:12:41:

In Reply to: Religions or east&west? posted by Erol Abit on February 02, 1999 at 16:47:16:

: First I, not a specialist one in islam, would like to tell my observational knowledges.
: As far as I know or I observed, human figure in the pictures is a discussion topic among the different sects of islam. Some radicalist sects
: don't permit even any picture of any person on the walls and ground in the rooms where namaz is performed and more moderated ones don't permit only the pictures of saint people pictures while most moderated ones permit all pictures except prophets and caliphs. Turkic islam in general is in the last category. In this last category, the human picture in the rugs is not forbidden but people respect the "prayer" rugs on which they put their feet during namaz. I've never seen human figures, even animal figures, in prayer rugs.
: By the way, most of Turkic communities are sunni islams as we already know. But I remind that there are also christian turks (Gagauz), shamans, jewishs and many different sects of islam including sunnis and shias.

: The number of rugs woven begun to increase slowly after islam is spreaded among many turkic communities in the 11th century. Most of them were likely to be prayer rugs after that years. That may be a reason why we don't see many rugs with human figures since most of them were
: prayer rugs. The islamic influence on Turkic weavings, i.e. prayer rugs.
: By the way, I don't think that the influences of religions is more dominant on the rugs except prayer rugs than cultural influences neither in
: pre-islamic (mostly shamanism) nor in islamic times. I believe also that the religions are not so important for turks, they just use the religions for other aims. See why they believe so many different religions and sects.

: As a conclusion, I think that few amount of human figures in Turkmen textile is not because of religious thoughts. The reasons must perhaps be searched in the geographic philosophies, like eastern and western. In my opinion, in western life philosophy contrary to eastern life, human is
: more emphasized (sign of more valuability of human or more egoism?) than other natural objects such as flowers, animals etc. Look at their gods. In old times, gods in western regions were human-likes as in the greek history while at that time gods were sun, sky etc. in the east. And not many rugs were woven in the west. If rug were woven in the west as many as in the east, I think that we would have seen more human figures on rugs. I also see more human figures in western arts, for example in western paintings. I'd like to hear artists' comments on my this opinion to learn why so if I am correct.

: Regards,
: Erol Abit

Dear Erol,
Your last point about differences between East and West with regard to the importance of humans vs. other natural objects is the most rational explanation that I've heard of to date. I hope more readers out there with ideas from other sources than just rugs can add to this. Regards, Marvin

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