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Antique Kazak Kilim with 15 Ram's Horn motif, Archaic group, circa 1900
Size: 155 x 203cm (5’1" x 6’8")
The rams horn motif is an ancient motif, found on many textiles including leather cutouts and felts from the Pazyryk burials of the Iron Age Scythian Horsemen. Petroglyphs carved out of rock by Stone Age and Bronze age inhabitants of the region reveal the use of the Rams Horn as a motif. “Prehistoric art in Caucasus and Central Asia is the so-called ‘animal style’, which was connected with the early nomadic people described by the Greeks as Scythians and the Persians as Sakas. The distinct characteristics of the animal style were applied in various media, like wood or metal objects (especially gold), as well as in rock art.” The Zoomorphic representation of rams horns as a motif was widespread amongst many Central Asian people and rendered in recent weavings in the same archaic style as the rams horns of the Scythians.
Ram’s horn (Kochak, Kotchak, Koch Buynuzu, Kochkar, Kochkor, Koshkar Muiz. Kuchkorak), symbolizing the power or fertility is perhaps the most abundantly used element between all Turkic people. The similar shapes can be found in the weavings of other ethnic groups such as Kurds and Luris too.
The fifteen hooked polychrome motifs seen here also maintain a direct connection with a key design from the library of prehistoric image/symbols - female deity.
Their similarity furthers proves the viability that
prehistoric icons maintained within the Archaic group kelim weaving
tradition. A later rendition of this design, known as the birth symbol,
appears worldwide as a central design motif in many 18th and 19th century
tribal cultures, which again underlines the importance of this symbol and
A design found at several Paleolithic cave sites
was this icons root source. This simple brace-like design was engraved at
a number of sites and shows a highly schematized female form in the birth
position - outstretched legs and abbreviated upper torso.
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