Posted by Jerry Silverman on February 07, 1999 at 03:41:48:
Could this have something to do with politeness?
What I mean by this is that it is easy to imagine that pre-1900 era rugs woven for actual use would wind up on the ground and trod upon. Folk art/primitive representations of people are merely decorative and can be walked on with no disrespect. Highly realistic images might be another matter. If the image is good enough to be recognizable, wouldn't it be rude to walk all over it? (This also conveniently ties in with Sophia's earlier point about very realistic images on tapestries. They weren't meant to be walked on.) It just doesn't feel right to step on a family portrait or a picture of an honored ancestor.
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