As a matter of fact it is much more difficult to draw a line between
authentic weaves for the own use, following own designs, and weaves
by order, than can outlined here in this short essay. One example from
our own field research - and please be attentive to their schedule,
row of priorities:
if one moves to the Gercek Bahsis tribes' yayla grounds in the Toros mountains one can contact them for weaving a kilim. The first question will be for the projected size. Then they state that one has to supply the yarns. They must be dyed - as they openly declare they cannot master the dyeing process and they never could ! When this condition is cleared they ask whether it is possible to wait for the winter: in the summer they simply do not have sufficient free time for weaving.
The next step is the price: they propose a price by weight of the
weave! That sounds unbelievable: a very fine, but therefore light-weight kilim,
would be cheaper than a coarse but heavy one! But these are their
measures! Then (please notice: at the end!) they mention the design. If
not a special arrangement is done they would use their own designs - but they
admit alien designs: one has to bring a kilim which is copied then. This costs
at any case a certain proportion (30-50%) more as the weaver has to get adapted
to it while weaving - and this costs additional time.
This is the way they view it. Coming close to the subject the picture is more a kind of puzzle of different vectors or influences. All local people immediately recognize such kilims, whatever the design is like, from viewing the little subordinate details (small motives) in the kilim and call it "Anamur" or "Anamur yörük". In the same way we defined a group of kilims from the mountain southwest of Konya (2, p. 34 - 39).
Further field research in Karaman confirmed that. All elderly European people do not use the term "kilim" or "kelim" but use "Karamaniye" instead. So important the area of Karaman was once as a kilim weaving ground. The elderly people in Karaman tell how they were made: twice a year the nomads camped just at the Western fringe of the city, in the spring time on the way to the yayla pastures in Inner Anatolia and in the autumn. One had to supply them with own (!) yarns that were already dyed (by the local craftsmen) and arrange the size and then the price. They would create automatically some nice own design. In rare cases one could drop a "numune" (an own piece, carpet or kilim) but this costed considerably more money (as this was an additional load plus the weaving took more time). - The amount of weaving done in the city was quite small, as we heard. And it was not evenly distributed within the city: the center of weaving were those quarters (mahalle) where nomadic people had settled. The most Western quarter is called "Türkmen evleri" (Turcoman houses) until today. In the perception of the local population all kilim and carpet weaving was a "Türkmen" kind of thing - but not to weave garments and fabrics!
If there was ever some "neolithic theory" - the local people have forgotten it! So it is exiled to the Western capital cities. Strange ...
Return to Salon