Close-up of the ‘piled prayer niches’-design of a Konya kilim, 18th or early 19th century.
This particular type of prayer rug has seven or ten prayer niches, which are piled up vertically and marked out by the white sections.
The niches are filled with various symbolic motifs. For example, in the section having a dark blue background, one finds:
- a ‘Kurt ızı’ (Wolf’s track; the yellow motif), used as a protection against the wolves, which is the primary threat for the stock breeding nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes;
- a ‘Bukağı’ (Fetter; inside the yellow motif), a cuff-shaped motif symbolizing the continuity of the family union, the devotion of lovers and the hope that they should always stay together;
- the half of a ‘Ejder’ (Dragon; the red motif with six hooks), a creature believed to be the master of air and water and the guard of treasures and secret objects;
- several ‘çengel’ (hook; the small red S-shaped motif), a protection against evil eye, used to reduce the effect of the evil glance, which is believed to be a power possessed by some people, that causes harm, injury, misfortune and even death.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: ‘Kilim catalogue’ – Güran Erbek (DÖSÍM - Kültür Bakanlığı/Ministry of Culture .