Re: nude figures

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Posted by Erol Abit on February 05, 1999 at 07:02:52:

In Reply to: Re: nude figures posted by Christoph Huber on February 04, 1999 at 10:49:28:

: :
: : : : Dear Sirs

: : : : I'm not sure whether the nude male figures mentioned by Irwin Kirsch can so easily be explained as a Christian "malice" against Muslim customers, because they seem to me being much deeper rooted in the ornament-canon of Oriental carpets. How else could they also be found on the beautiful Baluch rug depicted on the cover (of the German edition) of James Opies "Tibal Rugs" and on the Turkmen horse-cover in Werner Loges "Turkmenische Teppiche" (No. 51). What kind of tradition they represent I can't say, the question puzzles me for quite a long time...
: : : : Regards, Christoph

: : : Dear Christoph,
: : : I am equally puzzled. In fact most male figures seen on ethnographic rugs, in my experience and survey, are depicted "nude". Women are not - or their obvious physical attributes are left off the drawing. On the other hand, the planned urban rugs, and the great court rugs of the past have no examples that I can find of "nude" figures. Regards, Marvin

: : Dear Christoph, Irwin and Marvin,

: : I don't remember exactly but I think it was an old turkic (pre-islamic) traditions book. In it, there were somethings about nudeness and trust in the old traditions of turks. The author writes that the nudeness was not a shame in their traditions and he adds that even a woman wasn't hesitating to itch her secrecy points (sorry) even in front of their guests. This was not an anormal stiuation for them. [They trust each other. Otherwise, killing her or the guest:-)] The author also adds that all family members were sleeping complete nude in the same tent or wherever else.
: : I remember we were sleeping nude on the sand roofs of our village houses in the summers when I was very small. That means some traditions were still alive in spite of the islamic influence. Later, after moving to the cities, we lost these traditions.
: : Anyways... I am trying to say that the nudeness of human and hence in the rugs wouldn't surprise me if I see nude figures on Turkmen textiles, particulary in pre-islamic times.

: : Regards,
: : Erol

: : PS. For those unfamiliar with my postings, I should remind that I am neither a ruggie or an expert in history of turks and in islam. My posts are usually my observations which are not based on the books, therefore, not academic knowledges. Most of the times, I am learning the cultures of our folks or relative folks from people participating to these boards. Thanks for reading my hard English patiently.

: Dear Erol

: Your remark is interesting and I would be pleased if you once could give me further information on the book which you have mentioned. Your statement that nakedness is/was part of the normal everyday life of (for example) the Turkmens, is for me hardly to disprove. But if this is/was really the case, it nevertheless does not explain the popularity of this scene depicted so unusually often compared with representations of other parts of the everyday life (for instance cooking) of which I donít know any example...
: Have you ever seen a horse-whip from Afghanistan? I have one with a wooden handle inlayed with mother-of-pearl. The front-part made of leather is (quite typically) shaped very similar to the male reproduction-organs. Perhaps there is any connection...

: Regards, Christoph

Dear Christoph,

I read that book I mentioned at a university library 3-4 years ago. I really don't remember its title and author. I tried to remember in the last 2 days. If I were able to remember the title or author, I would find it and give further further information. But the title was something like "how we (turks) became moslem?" written by a turk. I can not say that book is speculative book or not since I am not an historican. But some parts of book (for ex. nakedness) just fitted to our old culture; to how we lived in our villages till 30 years ago and to what my grandfather told me.
Besides, when I was posting my message about nakedness, in my mind there was nakedness of American indians whom I relate to old middle asia cultures of pre-islamic times.
Nakedness in the middle asia culture, to me, means nakedness of whole human body rather than emphasized male/female organs. Such rugs (if there is) or objects (for ex. your horse-whip) were probably the influences by far east cultures of China and Japan where organs are often symbolized in their beliefs.


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