Exploring the Symbolism and Meaning in Traditional Rug Designs

Exploring the Symbolism and Meaning in Traditional Rug Designs

There are many motifs used in traditional Turkish and Persian rugs. All of these give the rug a special meaning and value. Although it is not well known, each of them has a meaning. Knowing these may allow you to choose a more custom rug for yourself.

In general, there are many motifs used in Turkish rug motifs. They can be classified in four different ways as follows:

  1. Animal motifs: Eagle, dove or pigeon etc.
  2. Floral motifs: Trees, leaf motifs, flower motifs etc.
  3. Geometric motifs: Triangle, quadrilateral, rectangle, lozenge, 6, 8 sided shapes etc.
  4. Mixed motifs: Medallion, badge, hook, etc.

Such motifs are also observed in Persian rugs. Each motif has its own meaning and value.

The Importance of Color and Pattern in Rug Designs

Handicrafts are a part of the works that show different characteristics according to the structures, traditions, tastes, and cultures of societies and reflect their material and spiritual values. More importantly, they are documents that transfer the traditions and customs of societies, the way of life from generation to generation and continue their development.

In the historical process of Anatolia, where various civilizations lived long before us, various cultures reflected their knowledge on handicrafts. For this reason, elements like suffering, joys, religious beliefs, nobility, and power have been turned into motifs in rugs and weaving looms.

Meaningful Symbols in Persian and Turkish Rug Designs: Boteh, Medallions, and More

There are many motifs used in Turkish and Persian rugs. Each of these has different and different meanings. Therefore, if you are going buying a traditional rug, it is recommended to pay attention to its meanings. Some motifs and what they mean can be seen below:

  1. Earrings: Earrings are indispensable as a wedding gift in Anatolia. Using this motif, a girl tries showing her family that she wants to get married.
  2. “Bukağı”: It indicates the continuation of family unity, the love of lovers and the hope of being together.
  3. Coach horn: It is a sign of productivity, heroism, and power in Turkish rugs. However, this symbol is an expression that the person who weaves it is happy and clearly states it.
  4. Star motif: Represents productivity in Turkish rugs.
  5. With her hand on her waist: It is a symbol of motherhood, femininity, and productivity.
  6. Hand, finger, and comb motif: It includes five lines and five points that represent the fingers' protection from evil eyes. The hand motif combines efficiency and good luck.
  7. Comb motif: Usually associated with marriage and childbirth. This motif expresses the desire to marry and protect the birth from evil eyes.
  8. Bird motifs: Contains various meanings. Birds like owls and crows mean bad luck Doves, pigeons and nightingales are also used to symbolize good luck.
  9. Amulets and amulets: It is believed that there is a power in the gaze of some people and that these gazes cause evil, harm, misfortune and even death.

In addition to all these, there are also different motifs used in Turkish and Persian rugs. Each of these has different concepts in terms of meaning and expression. Hand woven rugs also have a very valuable structure in this regard.

How Traditional Rug Designs Tell the Stories of Ancient Cultures and Mythologies

Turkish and Persian rugs have a history extending from the past to the present. Both went through many changes during this process. In this respect, hand-woven rugs carry the traces of the past to the present. The meanings and expressions each have differ:

  1. Scorpion motif: there is a belief that they will protect themselves from evil and death.
  2. Child motif: The child, who represents purity and innocence in Turkish mythology, has been a symbol embroidered on rugs to announce the call of people's fertility to the goddess of waters and seas, “Ak Ana”.
  3. Dragon Motif: The dragon motif is used in rugs because it is believed to bring fertility. The dragon, whose claws are created by imitating a lion and its tail is like a snake, and depicted as a winged animal, is also a frequently encountered symbol in Turkish mythology.
  4. Hand/Finger/Comb Motif: These figures, woven as sevens, fives or threes, are motifs formed by sticks emerging from a piece.
  5. Tree of Life Motif: The meaning of the tree of life motif, as can be understood from its name, is a symbol that symbolizes the continuation of life.
  6. Coach Horn Motif: An expression of heroism and strength in Turkish culture, the coach horn is not only used on woven products like rugs and rugs; It was also used on some tombstones.

In this respect, Turkish rug culture has a very rich structure. Motifs have an important place in both Turkish culture and ancient Turkish mythology.

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