Kilim Motifs

Motifs are derived from symbols that were used in ages gone by to inform, communicate and to convey ideas. Over time, some of these signs merged with myths, acquired hidden significance and moved into the world of esoteric symbolism. In this context, their use may not be limited to decorative purposes. Due to the hidden forces they are believed to imply, their primary purpose may well be psychological rather than aesthetic. Here is a comprehensive list of commonly used motifs.

Although the basic design is a stylized female, this pattern is known by various names in Anatolia. Some of which are gelin kiz, cocuklu kiz, aman kiz, karadoseme, seleser, kahkullu kiz, cengel, sarmal, cakmakli, eger kasi, turna katari. It is the symbol of motherhood and fertility.
To observe the evolution of the motif we start with a mother goddess statuette of 3000 B.C. found in Ahlatlibel near Ankara. Here are different variations of this form applied on weaving yields.

Hands on hips kilim motifs

When the same process applied to another mother goddess statue also found in Ahlatlibel, it is observed that the original form has gone through several changes yielding the motifs illustrated below:

Hands on hips kilim motifs

The final form of the motif represented below, can be traced on kilims from Cankiri, Adana, Kayseri, Antalya and Nigde.

Hands on hips kilim motifs
Hands on hips kilim motifs

Here are illustrations of various elibelinde motifs found on Anatolia weaves:

Hands on hips kilim motifs
Hands on hips kilim motifs

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