TurkoTek Discussion Forums (http://www.turkotek.com/VB22/index.php) Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-23-2005 08:23 PM:

"Hatch" Gul = Double Kochak?

Greetings All

We have discussed this in some detail, in a thread here on Turkotek titled Hash Gul Story Continuation

Could this Hash/Kochak gul be a tessellation? Follow the
link to a discussion of Tessellation here on Turkotek.


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-23-2005 09:46 PM:

Hash Gulesque


Notice the Hash Gul like pattern in the field of this Yomud/Tekke prayer rug.

Is there a pattern of association between flat weave
patterns and prayer rugs, and if so could this be
indicative of a history of flat woven prayer mats?


Posted by Louis_Dubreuil on 03-28-2005 09:00 AM:

Bonjour David

I do not aggree with your hypothesis about relations between the design of the Yomut palas and the haš gul. Haš gul is an "autonomous" old design that doesn't derive from other gul's forms. It is employed as a combined field motif (with a pavement like arrangement), as a continuous border or stripe motif or as a single "floating" motif.

In the case of this little rug, the "traditional" S shapes are replaced by hook designs that are connected with the haš gul central design. They are not connected with the white square that is situated between the haš guls, as you can see in the closeup picture of the back of the rug. From a certain distance the hooks seem to make the classical "kotchak" motif with the white squares, but this figure is not the real design. It is possible that the weaver has attempted to make a synthesis between the classical "S haš gul" and the kotchak pattern (from the flatweave field model). But in the general case there is no relation between haš gul and kotchak.

In my opinion there is nothing in common between specific flatweave Yomut "palas" design and the guls of piled rugs. The general rule for the use of specific motifs is that the motifs fit only with one or two specific types of item. For exemple the kotchak motif of the Yomut palas is just to be found on certain šuval types (and with the same brocaded technique). This design is never found on piled rugs. In the same way we don't know any palas
with a piled main carpet design. And the argument of specific technic = specific design is not a sufficient explanation. For exemple the piled band technique is not incompatible with classical "gul" design but we don't know any piled band with gul design. On the contrary we know piled rugs with piled band design, but we don't know if it is not a commercial-drived
production. Haš gul is done on piled technic for rugs of different
dimensions and shapes and for little bags, and is done on brocaded way for chuvals. But we don't know any palas done with the haš gul motif. In Anatolian production we know haš gul in soumak and zili technics.

About the possible origin of the yomud palas "classical" design I thing we have to see toward old Turkish motifs as it seems often the case for "utilitarian" items as bags, felt rugs. Palas are items rapidly made (as the felt rugs, but less rapidly) for covering the ground in the yurt and for a everyday use. Main carpets are not everyday items. This fact can explain: first that the design of palas is archaic and without great variations in the time; second that we don't know very old ones (they have been rapidly worn out). This is the contrary for main carpets: slowly made items, well preserved in the families as great value items. In this context it is normal that the designs of the palas and the rugs are never the same.

Amicales salutations Ó tous

Louis Dubreuil

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-28-2005 09:21 AM:


You state in your post above that

"Palas are items rapidly made (as the felt rugs, but less rapidly) for covering the ground in the yurt and for a everyday use."

I admit I am especially interested in the process by which the
palas is made and the conditions under which it is used.
Are you familiar with any books which discuss the use and manufacture of the palas, or do you possess any first hand information regarding this subject?

Posted by Louis_Dubreuil on 03-28-2005 11:58 AM:

Hello Dave

The best document for "palas" is Parvis Tanavoli's book "PERSIAN FLAT WEAVE" that is very precise on its definitions of the different types found in Persia and its borders. In this book he considers the palas, through literature and documentation, as being a flatweave for ground covering made with special technics (see other post that gives the Tanavoli's definition) that well differentiates palas from "gelim".

In this book Tanavoli shows one palas woven by the Yomud "Gulkan" from Mazandaran

This type is different from this salon's type with the simple kotchak motif.

We can see the same motif on a yoruk weaving.

In the Dave's palas as in the two others shown here

we can see the double kotchak, the same than the one on this
yoruk bag.

We have also the same design on Turkoman bags as this Yomud torba.

The shape of the horns of the kotchak motifs are quite archaic as we can see on the Anatolian village rug attributed to the 17th cent or earlier (HALI, #112).

Bonsoir Ó tous

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-28-2005 12:57 PM:

Louis and All

Thanks for the Images. There are numerous manifestations of these palas/Kochak designs, but all seem to me to have the same basic symmetry. Interesting that you cite this west/east,
Yoruk/Turkmen dichotomy. Would you agree that the repetoire
of those weavers closer to the geographic origin of a design
would utilize said design with greater frequency than those
further away?


Posted by dubreuil on 03-28-2005 12:58 PM:

haš gul namazlik

Hello Dave

Could you tell us where did you find the picture of the "yomut/tekke" namazlik ? The first thing I would know is either it is yomut or tekke, as it is "difficult" to be both. It would be fine to know the knotting for it is a good origin indication. If it is tekke this would be the first time I see a tekke "haš gul".

Merci d'avance

Louis Dubreuil

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-28-2005 06:39 PM:


Hi Louis

I double checked on this rug in the Yomud type trapping,
and it is listed as Tekke. Iv'e seen one or two others of this
prayer(?) type executed by the Tekke, but this raises
a couple of flags with me.

If the earliest Tekke prayer rugs are fairly recent
developments, these would be late, and we know
what happens to weave and tribal affiliation as
time advances.

Much later Yomud work is in the asymmetric knot,
and I myself have seen much which I thought
Yomud described by the dealer as Tekke, so
without a direct inspection I would tend to error
on the side of caution.

Perhaps someone with more experience in this
area will speak up.


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-28-2005 06:47 PM:


Sorry, Typo error

Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 03-29-2005 05:35 PM:

More palas

Hi David , Hi Louis,
To further reinforce Louis' contribution above , I am posting images of a palas of the first type with Ram Horns and secondary diamond centres.

I acquired the piece to study the relationship between these designs and the Anatolian brocaded cover designs.

The similarity is obvious. The Anatolian piece is pretty old and the Turkish "pelt rug" posted by Louis shows clearly how the Kotchak form was transferred from brocading-zili technique. The Turkmen palas also looks of good age. It has 10x17 Ram Horn main motifs. The one, Dave, you have posted for this salon is 12 wide by ? . An example sold at Rippon Boswell in May 1998 is more crowded with 13x24 ram Horn designs and , I also found an example in the De Young museum (Mc Coy Jones ) with up to 30 long. The one posted by Louis is also 10x30.

The palas shown here has impressed me by its nice spacing, the fine weave, the quality of the colours , the generosity of the elem dimensions and its border techniques.

The border is worked in a 3+1 zili technique.

The interesting relationship here is with the border design of some Salor pieces. The below scans from the book " Turkmen - Mackie-Thompson" show clearly that the piled elem designs of the bags and trappings can be assumed to be taken from brocaded media .
Look at the main border of the trapping with losenges formed by small rectangles. It is the same as the one from the palas .That occurred to me after having acquired and studied this palas.
A possibility is , that in earlier times , these areas were made with the brocading and were not piled. So, if somebody finds a Salor trapping with a flatwoven , brocaded elem , that piece could be older than all the known examples (this is a bit of deductive archeology where we predict the piece as it must have existed !)

For further discussion , I am also attaching details of another Anatolian brocade that relates to the Palas type 2 .

I did not see any relationship in piled media as a gul neither in Turkmen nor Anatolian. My feeling is that the gul designs are going to very old traditions and that the pile media and the flatwoven/brocaded media have developed their own gul types as archetypes. The piled media , being more flexible and being under more commercial influences has been easier to adopt designs from other sources when the tribal traditions loosened or were due to change. This could not happen to the flatwoven /brocaded ones because the technique has forced to distilled forms of beauty over very long time. This could not be so easily reinvented.


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 03-31-2005 06:08 PM:

Been Here before...

Ali and All

Thanks for the input. Myself and Louis have been through
this to some extent before, as demonstrated by the
linked thread, and while I don't think our two "theories "
or ideas are mutually exclusive, I think Louis'
Hash Gul Classification needs to be better documented.

I actually came across one of these large scale flatweaves,
as in your third image, in a shop here over the weekend.
For all practical purposes it was made yesterday with some
poor dyes, but it was interesting. How are they related?
Who can say?

The Chamtos border, worked in zili is interesting, but is this a traditional
Turkmen weave technique and/or motive? I know the
chamtos, or something quite similar, occurs with frequency in
work by people of Mongol extraction.

Also, I find it interesting that this first palas image bears a
strong similarity to the first of the salon, a palas which has
been tenetatively attributed to the Tekke. What is the
attribution, if any, of your palas?


Posted by Cevat Kanig on 04-01-2005 01:22 AM:

Hi Dave, Louis, Ali and All,

I wonder that what is the diffrents between Kotchak and Ram Horn, also the diffrents between palas and kelim .
Isn't all same meanings ?.


Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 04-01-2005 11:57 AM:

Hi David, Hi Cevat & all

1) I am not knowlegeable enough to determine the attribution of the palas posted above. In the literature, there are references to Tekke. The Rippon Boswell piece was catalogued as Tekke.
In the Rickmers Collection book Robert Pinner refrains from any definite attribution of two other types of flatweaves, both in structure similar to the one I have.
To me , the warps are looking like Tekke wool, the side finishes, the elem and borders might indicate relationship with Salur and the colours might be both Tekke and Salur.
One interesting feature though is that the wefts seem to be double at every shot. Does that indicate any direction for the attribution ?

2) About the zili border my main point was to question whether there would be any transfer between the Salur pile trappings and the zili borders from the flatweaves. If that is the case that would indicate a long history of "brocaded" flatweaving in Turkmen areas.

3) The relationship between the designs of Anatolian brocaded flatweaves and the small corpus of Turkmen brocaded flatweves is an interesting subject of study. This definitely points to the design transfer from one region to the other via migrations , but again, also might prove the existence of a long tradition of these type of weavings in Central Asia.

4) To my understanding the term "Kotchak" defines just a pair of Ram Horns.The design on the Palas and the Anatolian brocade is having two Kotchaks symmetrically placed around the horizontal axis. This is why I called it Ram horn main motif.
Maybe we should call it mirrored kotchaks or = aina kotchak. But I am not sure this name has not been given to another combination ?


Posted by Cevat Kanig on 04-01-2005 12:45 PM:

Hi Ali ,Dave ,Louis and All,

Turkic Republics in Central Asia
{ Azerbaijan,Uzbekistan,Turkomanistan and Kirgizistan }
Palas,Gelim,Kelim and Kilim has the same meaning, in english they call it Flatweaving .

Kochak is a Turkic word, it means, KOCH : RAM , AK: WHITE
it may mean Ram's white , i do not know what they call it the horn in turkic republics but the main word expreess the word , wich is KOCH: RAM.

In Turkey this design known as koch boynuzu : ram horn

The ram horn design goes back to Shamanism wich all Turks were.
It is a sembol of helper, guardian and power. in present time we are still using some Samanist elements in our lives.

Below images are from a home in Turkomanistan.

Below image is very interesting , some mosque in Turkomanistan are still using old Shamanist figures that Islam Doesn't except, it is just an old tradation.


Posted by Steve Price on 04-01-2005 01:17 PM:

Hi Cevat

Most ruggies use "kelim" (or any of the spelling variations) to refer to slit tapestry. Trying to educate them to do otherwise is probably a waste of time at this point.


Steve Price

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-01-2005 10:27 PM:

City vs. Country

Hi Cevat

Thanks for the Images, especially the mosque. Interesting.
Just a point or two I would like to mention in passing.

In the first instance, it is my understanding that ram's horns, as "natural" symbols are to be found most where ever we find rams, so the kochak itself is not necessairly Turkic. There are quite a few Arabs in Turkmenistan, so it could hypothetically be Arab, or even both Turk and Arab.

Secondly, it is my understanding that the majority of urban dwellers and the ruling class of Turkmenistan are Uzbek and hence more at mongol than Turk, so I would expect building decor to be rather more a reflection of Uzbek "taste" if you will than Turkic. Compare your images above to these examples of Uzbek crafts, noticing the colors and of course the kochaks.

What does this all mean? I'm not sure but ,I do know we have to be careful with this symbol stuff.


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-01-2005 11:47 PM:

Design Migration...

Hi Ali

You stated above that

"The relationship between the designs of Anatolian brocaded flatweaves and the small corpus of Turkmen brocaded flatweves is an interesting subject of study. This definitely points to the design transfer from one region to the other via migrations , but again, also might prove the existence of a long tradition of these type of weavings in Central Asia".

Notice the "lappets border" in the weaving above and consider the following from Gerard Paquin's
Silk and Wool: Ottoman Textile Designs in Turkish rugs

The theme of architectural conventions used in textiles and rugs is one to pursue when considering the yastik, or cushion cover form. Perhaps the most widely recognised imitation of Ottoman textiles by rugs is the use of velvet yastik designs in wool pile versions. The yastik is a popular format for Ottoman velvets from at least the 16th century onward. Many knotted pile wool yastiks from the 18th and 19th centuries preserve the velvets' designs.

One curious feature that became a convention in both silk and wool yastiks is the single row of small compartments, or lappets, that frequently appear on each end . The logic or reason for their existence is not immediately apparent, but a consideration of how velvet yastiks were woven and used suggests some answers.

Weaving a velvet on a drawloom is quite mechanically done, but the setting up of the sequences for the manipulation of the loom to produce the design is a complicated task. The shorter the length of weaving before the design repeats, the easier the set-up. Thus a cloth with repeating carnations has a repeat one carnation long and is easier to program than a medallion design . Once the loom has been set up with a repeating design, meter after meter can be woven off. Then, if desired, the cloth, typically only about 65cm. wide, can be sewn side to side to make a continuous broader design.

The simplest way to transform a piece of fabric so it becomes a useable object straight off the loom is to introduce rows of lappets periodically. One thus creates a series of identical yastiks, as many as the length of the warp can accommodate . In the simplest way, with the least reprogramming of the weaving sequence, a piece of fabric has had its ends "finished." It has been made into furnishing and appropriate to an architectural setting.

Perhaps it is not surprising that there are so many examples of wool pile yastiks with textile-like patterns in this same design concept. They have repetitive field patterns, little in the way of side borders, and lappets on each end . Often the lappets have shrunk from their original proportions on velvet yastiks, but they remain as a reminder of their architectonic defining purpose.

The choice of lappets as a type of end border in defining the form of Ottoman silk yastiks and their wool descendants evolves naturally from the artistic heritage embraced by the Ottomans. Timurid and Jalayrid miniature painting depict yastiks in use, some of which have forms analogous to the end lappets of Ottoman yastiks . In those same paintings we see shapes in rows like lappets used generally as dividers or borders in a variety of architectural uses. Examples of the use of rows of lappet shapes to demarcate a space can be seen on tops of walls , as decorative friezes such as on the socle or edge of raised platforms for sitting , and elsewhere.

There are of course many velvet yastiks, and their knotted pile descendants, which do not use repeating textile patterns. Those with medallion designs we consider to be inspired by the art of the book. There are two other influences to note, however. First, the appearance of lappets at each end has become a defining convention. They usually remain, even when other borders have been added. Second, the yastik with borders all around is an echo of the architectonic design of the oriental carpet. Rugs, composed of borders, guard stripes, and central fields, have always been used to define spaces in both tent and town. So while the Konya-Beyshehir mosque carpets imitate textiles with their closely patterned fields, they establish an architectural grandeur with their wide borders .

Do these

come in a variety of sizes, and if so, what range?

I noticed you stated that "this definitely points to the design transfer from one region
to the other via migrations". Am I correct in assuming that you discount the possibility
that these might represent a simplified copy or reinterpretation of the Turkmen palas design?
If whole boatloads of these palas can show up in a store here
in Washington D.C I don't see why they couldn't show up in a sook in Turkey.


Posted by Cevat Kanig on 04-02-2005 12:15 AM:

Hi Dave,

Could you let us know that what is your base that Ram horn design is kochak and what is Kochak ?.

Kochak { kocak} is a town in Aydin/Turkey , there are Turkomans in Aydin area, Aydinli Kilims was woven by turkomans goes back to 1800's


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-02-2005 06:45 PM:


Hi Cevat

As I stated earlier

"I do know we have to be careful with this symbol stuff",

and I stand by this assertion. The rug books refer to this ram horn
like motive as "kochak", which is shorter than "Ram's Horn",
but I don't believe there is any easy answer.
It might be accurate to refer to this symbol by whatever approximates
the word "Ram's Horn" in what so ever language.
In short, the nome Kochak in itself may not be of any particular significance.
Could be just a convention.


Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 04-03-2005 04:43 PM:

Hi David,
From your post I understand you think that the Anatolian piece was made as a yastic with composite designs taken from elsewhere , and maybe from the Palas seen in the bazaars ?
The Anatolian brocade with that design are relatively common and they predate the appearance of the Palas in the bazaars recently or even in early 20th century. The design has been woven traditionally in Anatolia. The image in Louis Dubreuil's post above is(Plate VI) from Anthony N. Landreau and Ralph Yohe , Flowers of Yayla. Both authors have extensively carried field research with the Toros mountain Yoruks in Anatolia. They publish several examples of the same design , especially the Arthur Jenkins piece as fig 24th , which is measuring 1.93 by 1,57 m. So this design was used in pieces of all dimensions.
The piece I have posted predates all the pieces published in that book as there are several archaic features that would be too long to discuss here or on the monitors. It is about 105 cm by 210 cm.
So , we do not know if the Palas design is a derivative or vice versa. I would rather opt for a diversification of the design and maybe more "Turkmenization" on the palas with the minor / major Gul language versus the geometrical space and colour development in the Anatolian piece.
The Palas have loops sewn on the sides that indicates that, at least at some point in time, it was used as a hanging. But this might not be the original function.

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-03-2005 05:12 PM:

Who Can Say?

Hi Ali

No, I don't actually believe that the Yourk piece is a knock off,
just a hypothetical example of how this design could have migrated into Turkey.
It is fair to discribe these Yourk
pieces as generally smaller than the Palas?
No smaller format bag faces then?

You state

"The piece I have posted predates all the pieces published
in that book as there are several archaic features".

These features might be worthy of discussion. Marla Mallett,
in her essay Tracking The Archtype states

Design influence flows normally from restrictive to less restrictive techniques. Design features that are dictated by structural limitations clearly indicate their origins. Structural problems should alert us to outside influences. Inconsistencies in design execution often indicate diverse design sources. Fine articulation, cohesiveness and strong positive/negative design relationships can point us toward likely origins. And last, design change and disintegration is accelerated as motifs migrate from medium to medium, since different technical constraints apply.

Is it possible that these "archaic features" might in fact
constitute "inconsistencies in design execution" as above?



Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 04-04-2005 07:11 PM:

Hi David,
the Anatolian pieces with that design can be about 1m40 by 2m50 or even bigger. There might have been smaller pieces . I do not know them but the Yoruk are pretty creative to adapt the designs to any format. So , I would not be surprised.
What I meant with archaic features are the following :
1) Colour quality of extra wefts and also the specific colour tone of the background weave. This can not be observed on the monitor and can only be seen in flesh.
2) The execution of the "symmetrical kotchak" figure in brocading . Remark the little sawteeth pattern in white wool on the part that links the two kotchaks together. That is a special attention to detail and workmanship that does not exist in the later piece.
3) the arms of the kotchaks on the later piece close completely , providing less variety for the negative space
4) the colour arrangement and the special proportion of the losanges around the kotchaks and the overall clarity of the design versus the cluttered appearance of the Yoruk piece.
In addition (I will have to find a bigger picture later ) the piece has a border made of little squares with the same triangular elements that form the" minor guls" on the Turkmen Palas. It also has elem like designs at each narrow side outside the main border.
These all speak for earlier brocaded pieces and one develops a sense of design evolution as several pieces with the same design can be compared.

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 04-04-2005 08:46 PM:


Hi Ali

Interesting. I dont know enough to say, as you indicate
some of these characteristics are not discernable from
a photo, but within the context of Marl Mallett's
Archtype Theory it seems that these additional
characteristics could evidence techniques or structures
deviating away from a cohesive design origin and hence
further removed from the original.

It would be interesting if there exist corresopnding
age based differientations among palas and
a correlation between the two, Turkmen
and Yoruk.

I will have to check out this "Flowers of Yayla" for
myself and see what is going on, this will be interesting.



Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 05-12-2005 07:03 PM:

Diversity = Evolution

Hi Ali

I recieved my copy of "Flowers of the Yayla", and although I have yet to give it a thorough going over I have read enough to suggest, judging from the diversity of weave techniques and the multitude of variations upon this "kochak"motive, that these pattern and these bags are of central import in this area and these people anmd perhaps of no significant filial relationshup to the palas.

The weave techniques and patterns of the Yoruk are a direct contrast to the palas. Where the Yoruk vary much in structure,the palas is remarkable in it's uniformity of construction. Where we see endless variation upon a basic design theme among the Yoruk, we see a few basic designs over and over again in this palas.

Maybe these similarities are just that of flat weave techniques found over a vast geographical region and the limitations which symmetry impose upon a two dimensional surface, horizontal, vertical, and lateral.

Did you notice the More Palas Pictures thread and it's assertion that the palas is "the" common floor covering of the Turkestan region? Also, check out the tail end of The Lattice thread where I try to put this all together.


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 05-14-2005 01:02 PM:

Hi Ali

Find below some examples of this Yoruk "cul" or bag from the Icel province Toros mountains in Turkey.

Of this last image Yohe states

"Perhaps the most popular layout is rows of large hexagons, staggered to form diagonals, such as in Plate XI. Various motifs such as the cross, star, arrows "birth symbols", diamonds , "slit belly", ect. may be included within the overall hexagon pattern as secondary elements. The variations are endless."

Interesting that both the weave technique and this prominent flatwoven bag format share the same name.
Yohe states that

"The most common type of weaving presently done in Icel province is a kind of weft float brocading known elsewhere in Turkey as zili, but called cul by the Yoruk in Icel."


Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 05-14-2005 01:38 PM:

Structurally Generated?

Hi Ali and All

Anita Landreau posits an observation in her contribution in "Flowers" during her discussion of weaving and of warping specifically, that

"Threads are cut by groups of four, because typical Yoruk cul patterns are based on four units. A marker is inserted at intervals to keep track of count."

This goes far in justifying a structural origin of these designs?

Yohe makes reference to damgas or tribal marks or brands used to identify livestock and at least suggested by some design elements in weavings. Joy May Hilden discusses a similar practice among the Saudi Bedu on her World of Beduin Weaving

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 05-14-2005 01:50 PM:


Hi Ali

Just an aside here, a couple images of some kelims and their accompanying captions..

"An old wollen kelim in the mosque at Tuzla, similar to kilims found in the Nigde, Kozan, and Hatay regions. They were made by the Tuzla Yoruk several generations ago before they stopped going to the yayla."

"Typical Kilim from the mosque in Kas Antalya province, probably made by Sacikara Yoruk."

Somehow these kilims don't strike me as being typical, especially the one on the left


Posted by Ali R.Tuna on 05-19-2005 05:52 AM:

Hi David,
I am right now on vacation on the Toros mountains and have scarce access to the net. I will reply when I am back.