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Saturday, January 18, 2014
Anatolian Kilims and Their History


Vedat Karadag

Turkish and Central Asian Rug and Textile Expert,


Anatolian kilims are recognized as some of the most colorful and graphically powerful ethnographic textiles in the world.  These woolen flat-weaves have been used for centuries as practical and beautiful tribal décor by their Turkic nomadic weavers for their own tents, and later by sophisticated Westerners for both traditional and contemporary interiors.  Turkish and Central Asian rug and textile expert Vedat Karadag will discuss the various theories of the origins of kilims:  Did the herding cultures of Turkmen nomads bring kilim weaving with them from Central Asia and western Turkestan, where winters were stormy, snowy and very cold, the summers were hot and dry?  Or is the so-called Mother Goddess hypothesis more accurate, which states that there was a weaving tradition in Anatolia long before the Turkmen people migrated from Central Asia, and that Anatolia had developed its own weaving tradition in the Neolithic period that continues to the present day?  Evidence of the latter has been found in the archaic Phrygian city of Gordion, where significant plain-woven textile fragments and felts were found in burial sites.  These issues will be discussed, along with some of the archetypal kilim designs from different regions of Turkey.

Vedat Karadag is a native of Ankara, an internationally known Turkish rug and textile expert, and a former rug gallery owner who now deals privately in Turkish and Central Asian textiles.  He gave a popular presentation at the International Conference on Oriental Carpets in 2011 in Stockholm on new fakes and forgeries of antique Turkish weavings, and an expanded version to TMA/SC.  He is also an experienced organizer and leader of textile and cultural tours to Turkey, Iran and Central Asia, through his Istanbul company, Cultural Travels (www.culturaltravels.com.)

A "show and tell" will follow the program, and Vedat invites TMA members to bring Turkish kilims and flatweaves to share with the group.


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