image for larger view
Size: 11 ft. 3 in. x 2 ft. 5 in.
337.5 cm. x 72.5 cm.
Plate One is animated and vibrant, quite unlike the serene presence of Plate
Two. Visual differences aside, the similarity of materials, spinning, weaving,
and dyeing all lead to the conclusion that these two kelims were woven contemporaneously,
possibly by the same weaver. Were they made as a pair or is each half of a different
pair? This question and in fact the larger issue of whether or not Plates Four
or Five also had a matching other half can not be answered at this time. It
is this writers opinion that the Archaic group kelims made in this format were,
like later examples, also made in pairs. But unlike the later examples, these
halves were designed to be viewed alone and not necessarily as part of a pair.
Originally, they may have been displayed draped over a large object which created
two panels, where each half appeared as a self-contained image.
The designs on these slit-tapestries are very different, as each was influenced
by different styles of deity representation - Plate One utilizing the earlier
prehistoric style and Plate Two the later historic style. This stylistic difference
was based on the change from female or goddess centered beliefs to male or god
centered. Such a change is well supported by the archaeological record, male
effigies are almost nonexistent until c.2500BC but afterwards become the predominant
style. During this time period, the late Bronze Age, male dominance was responsible
for the centralization of political, economic and military power. These new
conventions replaced the previous social, political as well as religious orientation
based on the earlier less developed Paleolithic/Neolithic models. The differences
in the ways the major designs were drawn was directly tied to this changeover
and these two weavings must have had an important significance within the confines
of the strict weaving culture which produced them.
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