TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  The inscrutable woman
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  12-22-1999 on 10:38 p.m.
Steve, Your assertion (speculation) that something mysterious may be hidden in the iconography of some oriental weavings may be questionable. It is fairly well assumed that most of these weavings we love so much were woven by women. It is also fairly well assumed that most of the "secret societies" we know of were exclusively male. If this is true, how did those insidious women find out the secrets and weave them into their rugs? If, in fact, they did find out the deep, dark secrets of their men, and weave them, why were they not punished severely and banished? Unless, perhaps, there were secret women's societies which have sought to perpetuate "womanical" villainies upon men and these weavings have been the vessel or repository of these ideals. I hope I have not uncovered one of the most enormous conspiracies of all time here. If you do not hear from me again, perhaps I have been kidnapped by the . . .* !

Subject  :  RE:Women's Work
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  12-23-1999 on 08:24 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Patrick (if you haven't been spirited off to a computer-less island run by dominatrices), I hope I didn't overstate the secrecy business - my title included the words "intentional and otherwise" in order to emphasize the speculative nature of the thoughts. And the formalized "secret society" model of social organization is predominantly African, although in informal terms it exists in just about every culture. And it isn't exclusively male societies, even in Africa. There are hierarchical societies of women in Sierra Leone, for example, and to ignore the role of women in most western cultures is to confuse a formal patriarchical structure with the reality of day to day family and village life. In most of western, central, and southeast Asia textile work is the predominant art form. The textiles are made by women so the art must be their expression, not the men's. Interestingly, in Africa, where the formal organization is mostly dominated by male societies, the men are the weavers. But there is a Yoruba (Nigerian) proverb to the effect that the hen lets the cock crow in the morning even though she knows the sun would come up anyway. Regards, Steve Price

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