TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Concluding Remarks
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  06-02-2000 on 09:58 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear All, Kaitag embroideries are a remarkable group of textile from an aesthetic point of view. The embroiderer's freedom from the technical constraints upon a weaver are fully exploited, with curved lines and exuberant irregularity. The ability of silk to enhance colors is also obvious in the best examples. Within this group there is a fairly large subgroup, known in the marketplace as the "simurgh and dragon" design, on which our Salon focused. There was some discussion of such matters as the background color and number of background cotton pieces upon which each embroidery was worked; neither appears to have any known significance. There was lively discussion of the origin and significance of the "simurgh" and "dragon" motifs, which reached a high point when Christoph Huber argued rather persuasively that the "simurgh" is likely to be a flower and the "dragon" is probably a bird. He also showed the remarkable similarity of another, less common Kaitag motif to the Persian "qilin". It would appear from this that the sources of Kaitag motifs in this group alone include old Ottoman floral elements, and old Persian animal forms. There is also a distinct group of Kaitag embroideries that are very obviously derived from old Ottoman textiles. I am struck by the wide variety of sources of the motifs on Kaitag embroideries, especially considering the fact that the region where they were made is so small and remote. It really emphasizes how easily artistic traditions can travel into what we might think of as inaccessible places. I was a bit surprised that the usual date attributions given to these pieces, often 17th and 18th century, was not mentioned at all. Finally, I thank all of those who contributed to the discussion, and I hope it was informative for many of our readers. It certainly was for me. Steve Price

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