Posted by Pat Weiler on February 13, 1999 at 20:23:56:
In Reply to: Re: nude figures posted by Fred Mushkat on February 13, 1999 at 01:48:47:
: As the owner of the Balouch carpet with the nude figure, I have had ample opportunity to study this particular creature. The figure is obviously male, with testes and and erect phallus. On the other side of the rug is a similar depiction of half a human (the half with the 'equipment'). I am convinced that no pornographic intent exists, nor was it the intent of the weaver to offend anyone with such a graphic image. Rather, I believe that the carpet is a dowry type, and the young couple fortunate enough to own it was being gently reminded (through the image of the man) to bear children. What could be more important to tribal survival than reprioduction? I coincidentally own a Qashqa'i pack animal band with two stick figures, one obviously with male genitalia, and one with female, toe to toe on the band, suggesting coitus. I have been warned (mainly by Iranians) that the depiction is a coincidence, but since the image was published in HALI 84, another similar band has surfaced. With regards to an earlier thread, the same article shows a band, possibly Khamseh, which depicts a woman with exposed breasts. Once again, the intent was not lewd, but the ability to breast feed an infant was no doubt the difference between death and survival of many children. I have casually seen other bags and rugs with less obvious depictions of exposed genitalia. I am sure there is alot more imagery out there which we have refused to admit might be a sexual representation because we have been blinded by our prejudices about nomadic cultures and Islamic law.
Could these male and female figures be "Adam and Eve" ? There are numerous Judeo/Christian figures revered in Islam. "...stories about Mary and Jesus are included in the Koran..." From Kings, Heroes and Lovers, Tanavoli, p208. This book also shows a rug of Gabriel on a camel with a very well woven and quite life-like Gabriel. It is on p206 and dated mid 19th century. There is also an intruguing Portrait of a Woman rug dated 1905 (1323) which is very lifelike. It is attributed to the Khamsa Confederation, Arab tribe. While not religious, it does perhaps contradict the contention about sitck figures being virtually exclusive to woven representations of people in 20th century rugs.
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