Posted by R. John Howe on 09-24-2002 08:24 AM:

Weavers Literal About "Life"

Bravo, Fred! -

A wonderfully focused salon. I hope we will be able to deal with your challenge without getting into too much trouble.

I agree that there are sometimes rather explicit sexual images on the weavings we collect.

I mentioned recently here on Turkotek that George O'Bannon once came to the Textile Museum to give a "rug morning" presentation and included a pile weaving that not only had a bridal procession, with adult and younger animals in the column, it also had one male animal with a full erection.

I do not think that this imagery was salacious at all. It was, as you have said in your initial essay, an explicit and literal, but entirely "straight-faced" message, reminding the newly wed couple of the central fact of marriage in traditional societies: the responsibility to produce the next generation.

I only regret that I don't have a photo of O'Bannon's rug.


R. John Howe

Posted by Yon Bard on 09-24-2002 03:33 PM:

I believe this Yomud asmalyk (full picture and relevant detail below) is what John is referring to. I took these photos in the Ashkabad Museum when we were touring Central Asia under George's leadership in 1993.

Regards, Yon

Posted by R. John Howe on 09-24-2002 04:03 PM:

Not One But Two

Yon et al -

That's it! And I stand corrected there are at least two erections.

Thanks, Yon.

R. John Howe