Posted by Erol Abit on February 03, 1999 at 07:36:20:
In Reply to: Re: Religions or east&west? posted by Sophia Gates on February 02, 1999 at 19:39:34:
: I agree with Erol. I think that, in contrast to the "humanism" of Western culture, rug weaving cultures seem to have perceived people as only a tiny part of a cosmic whole. As you know, many Turkoman rugs seem to be attempting to create a window onto the infinite. Some Southern Persian rugs portray a whole pantheon of creatures, flowers and stars - only occasionally does one see people (there's an interesting example in "Treasures of the Black Tent.") Some of the interlocking geometry found, for example, in certain Baluch rugs, strikes me as an attempt to understand and portray a cosmic structure, the fundamental dinergy of the world.
: The overwhelming, constantly challenging presence of the landscape in which Central Asian tribespeople lived might have provided some inspiration for this view of the world, so different from our own traditions. Flying over the Great Plains and the Rockies in a jet, it's easy to forget how big the world is to a horseman, or to a family struggling over the mountains on foot! However, shamanic/animist religion probably also played a part: far from being a powerful, near-omniscent being, the only "godly" creature, humans were in dire need of assistance from the spirit world, as embodied in animals and trees as well as the elements of earth, sky, fire and water. Look at the difference in the way Western may looks at Mount Everest, for most of history considered sacred, unknowable - until outsiders came, regarding her as nothing more than a challenge to be conquered.
: Western man thinks he is the image of god, and I have no doubt that, had Westerners woven rugs they would have woven pictures of people.
Sophia, thanks for information and your participation to the board as an artist.
Since we see the same I think now to support these thoughts we need to define what the west and east mean with regard to human. Why is human more important in the west? For a possible answer to this question, I am going to set up a scenario.
Lets go back in the history to the pre-religions times (assuming that such times happened) to isolate history from the religion effects. At that times, the world was considered as flat. Now if we want to walk in one of iso-climate direction, i.e. east or west, which direction would we choose? and why? Two choices: east and west.
I would prefer to walk in the east direction following the movement of sun if I want to follow or obey the rules of nature. And by following the movement of sun, i.e. walking in the direction of sun, eastern people accepted that sun was one of gods later in religions times.
Or I would prefer to walk toward the west opposite to the sun direction so that I could stay longer time under sun lights. It means I am not obeying the rules of nature but I gained more knowledge by challenging with nature and by staying longer under sun lights (symbolically light is related to knowledge).
In the latter case, ie. west, I would be more important than all other objects since I thought that I was fighting against the nature by gaining more knowledge which is the difference between us and other objects as human assumes. On the other hand, when walking toward the east I would feel myself as a part of nature and smell its aromas. If my these assumptions are correct till now, it is easy to understand the reflections of these; more humanism in the west and less humanism in the east. More rug in the east, less rug in the west. Finally, less human figures in all rugs.
Marvin, I think I jumped to a conclusion again. Sorry. Ok, it was just a scenario but not so bad :-<
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