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Kazak Pinwheel / Swastika rug

: KZPW12
Size (metric): 129x167cm
Size (ft): 4'2"x5'5"
Area: 2.15 m2

Density: 110 000 knots per square meter, totally ~ 230 000 knots

Pile height: 0.7 cm

End finish: triangular braided fringes

Weaving period: 3 months

Colors: red, mauve/old purple, yellow, cerulean blue, green, royal blue, maroon, aubergine, ivory, dark brown, light brown.

Dyes: madder, weld (Reseda Luteola),
onion skins, indigo, pomegranate skins, walnut husks, natural dark brown sheep wool, natural ivory sheep wool, natural medium brown sheep wool.

Materials: Handcarded and handspun wool for pile, ivory wool warps and red wool wefts (two shots, dyed with onion skins and madder). 1cm of flatwoven kilim ends at both sides. - wool on wool

Knots: Gördes (Turkish, symmetrical)

Ends: five rows of decorative knotted meshwork

Inscriptions: 1439 (=2018 weaving date), tamgas (tribal seal) of Afshar tribe

Weaver: Sevda

Handwoven in Azerbaijan
Design: The design is distinguished by the typical "Pinwheel" or Swastika shaped archaic devices located in the central field. The swastika is an ancient symbol, often interpreted with celestial connotations. According to some researchers, it represents the heavens with the center of the swastika as the north star and the twisting arms of the motif symbolizing the movement of the constellations around that focal point. It is graphically portrayed in many weavings from Caucasian Azerbaijan, including the Bordjalou and Kazak areas. This element is called "Dörd-buynuz" (means "four rams") or "Damga" (Tamga) in Kazak region.

Another theory sees swastika as a highly stylized zoomorphic motif. The element was widely used in early Turkish rugs and in some Central Asian weavings.

pic1. different type of pinwheel/swastika motives


A swastika drawing on a vessel found in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, 1500 BC. Azerbaijan History Museum

Gobustan Rocks. Azerbaijan. Early 20th century (imitated from an ancient drawing)

Gobustan Rocks. Azerbaijan. 3000 BC

Gobustan Rocks. Azerbaijan. 1000 BC

A 2600 years old cup found in Hasanlu Tepe (an archeological site of an ancient city located in West Azerbaijan Province, a short distance south of Lake Urmia) depicts a similar swastika motif.

The main border shows a so called 'calyx and leaf' motif and it contains two versions of Afshar tribal tamga.

"calyx & leaf" motif - it is one of the earliest rug motifs survived until today.

This XVI century painting shows a rug with a "calyx and leaf" motif.

King Henry VIII standing on a Turkish rug. 1537-1557, after Holbein. Location: Petworth House.

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