Galerie  Galerie KELIM Logo   Exhibition 14. September - 6. November 2004

Kilims from the West Anatolian Yayla 
18th and 19th Century

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"Yayla"  is the name for "summer pastures", all over Anatolia. They are the pastures high up in the mountains where shepherd families have always spent the summer months, leading semi nomadic lives in tents. Every autumn they move back down to their villages.
Flat weaves were produced in Anatolia over millenniums, for daily use as well as for spiritual purposes. West Anatolian flat weaves are particularly impressive for their large range of weaving techniques which include the Cicim, Zili, Soumak and Slit Kilim. Traditional symbols and dyeing techniques were retained so that the characteristic features of non-commercial flat weaves remained unaltered and particularly expressive well into the 19th century.
Asia Minor has had a colourful past with many different peoples settling or passing through. Thus, a broad variety of kilims have survived. In the 1980s and 90s, collectors used to favour kilims from Central Anatolia so that there was only little interest in West Anatolian weaving traditions, and fewer kilims from this period have been preserved.
I am delighted to present more than 30 rare flat weaves from the 18th and 19th centuries, among them antique decorated sacks and saddlebags which reflect life on the Yayla in bygone days.
The flat weaves in this exhibition were woven by Karakecili, Yagcebedir, Varsak Yörük, Aydinli and other tribes. They represent only a small part of the traditions of past centuries.