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Kurdish Textile-Art
from Anatolia to Chorasan
Exhibition 4/4/2000 - 4/29/2000

Kordi Çihan Beyli Çihan Beyli

Kordi Kordi Kordi

Jajim Kurdish rug Jajim Malatya Kilim

Sumakh Sofreh

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The Kurds are an extremely old, Indo-Iranian tribe, who inhabited, as early as Medean times, regions even now still settled by their descendant progeny. The name "Kurd" is evident as early as 640 BCE - used to describe the nomadic peoples that occupied the plateaus and mountains between Armenia and the Zagros-chain. Furthermore, later settlement-areas reaching from Central Anatolia to Northeastern Persia.
These regions are thousands of kilometers apart, and, for perhaps five-hundred years, their cultural developments were isolated from one another.Given the latter, it is all the more astounding to witness the unaltered patterns and manifest production techniques (both woven and knotted). These have, despite their lengthy separation, almost entirely maintained their mutual symbolism.
This evinces the great import afforded to clan-symbols by Kurdish women. Adaptive variances are evident alone amidst the colour-harmonies, which were influenced by the availability of dye-plants and wools on the local markets. Nonetheless, one can invariably recognize that this is -

Kurdish Textile-Art.

The idea of examining, in-depth, the primeval elements of Kurdish textile-art originated in paradromic comparison of everyday, (i.e. non-commercial) Kurdish textiles from the most varied regions of the Levant and Near Orient. More than sixty, "everyday" examples, representing the regions from central Anatolia to northeastern Persia, including bags, supply-containers, Jajims, Çiçims, and Sofreh, are exhibited. The respective ages of the pieces range from the 18th to the first third of the 20th centuries.

Werner Brändl