TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Baklava
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  03-12-2000 on 09:50 p.m.
jpweil00@gte.net Robert, You have a lovely kilim. What does the design represent? The common term, Baklava, due to the similarity of the device to the food, may be one answer. Warhol and Lichtenstein were two 20th century artists who magnified food in their art. Perhaps an ancient Warhol was very hungry and wove a Baklava. Probably not, though. I also wonder if the origin or etymology of the word itself, Baklava, is contemporaneous with the origin of the design? Do we even know what language was spoken by the originator of this design? I suspect that the design predates the word, and the word is a descriptive appellation applied sometime later. This leads to your tenuous suggestion of a relationship with the cosmos. The sun and stars have significant meaning in the lives of the ancient peoples of the earth. This design does not particularly look like any old sun or star, however. But, this may very well have been a woven interpretation of a supernova erupting within sight of the ancient earth. I understand that they can be rather spectacular. If, in fact, such an event occurred, one could well speculate that the fascinated spectators were entertained for many days by an unbelievable show of lights and colors. This could very well have influenced many artistic, religious and political endeavors. And the artistic effects could very well be felt to this day in the design of your equally colorful kilim. Speculatively yours, Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  RE:Baklava
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  03-13-2000 on 11:45 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Patrick, The baklava appellation is probably one of those terms by which one person describes something to another, and is unlikely to be related in any significant way to the design origin. We refer to tuning forks and latchhooks fairly regularly, but I doubt that many of us think the designs to which we give those names are actually intended to represent tuning forks or latchhooks. It's just a handy shorthand. The baklava pattern does look a lot like a pan of freshly made baklava, so this description would be another handy shorthand, but for people accustomed to seeing such things. That's not the case for most westerners, of course. And the exploding supernova? I don't think I want to go there. Steve Price

Subject  :  RE:Baklava
Author  :  +Kenneth Thompson+
Date  :  03-13-2000 on 12:44 p.m.
wkthompson@aol.com You have wonderful kilim. It was worth waiting a couple of years for. Just a pedantic note on "baklava". Modern Turkish uses it as a the generic word to describe any diamond lozenge shape. "Baklava seklinde" or baklava-shaped is common usage. I suspect it was referring more to the overall lozenge design, rather than the expanded "ashik" motif. (It may even be a sort of ashik, since in Turkish "ashik" is a bone in the foot, a symbol that brings good luck. These bones were used in village games and among diviners as dice to determine good luck. It is a literal translation of the Greek "astragalus", the bones used to cast one's fate. ) Whatever the symbolic value in these kilims, I suspect that at some point in their history they were intended to attract good and repel evil. Since you now own the kilim, you can see for yourself whether these baklava/ashik are doing their job. Regards, Kenneth Thompson

Subject  :  RE:Baklava
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  03-14-2000 on 11:33 p.m.
jpweil00@gte.net Steve, In a spirited last-ditch defense of my preposterous proposition that a spectacular supernova could have influenced the design of Robert's kilim, I researched the internet to find that, in fact, the supernova of 1054 was documented in China, Japan and Europe. No late-breaking word on whether kilims were woven out of respect and awe. Patrick Weiler

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