THE STORY OF  MOTIFS

Motifs are derived from symbols that were used in ages gone by to inform, communicate and to convey ideas. Over time, some of these signs merged with myths, acquired hidden significance and moved into the world of esoteric symbolism. In this context, their use may not be limited to decorative purposes. Due to the hidden forces they are believed to imply, their primary purpose may well be psychological rather than aesthetic. Here is a comprehensive list of commonly used motifs.

Ram's Horn – Kocboynuzu

This motif is used as a symbol of fertility, heroism, power and masculinity. It is also called boynuzlu yanis, boynuzlu, koclu yanis, gozlu koc basi.

Star - Yildiz

The star motif on an Anatolian weaving generally means happiness and does not imply heaven for which a cloud, a dragon or a phoenix is used in many works including miniatures and other textiles.
The six pointed star generally known as the Solomon's Seal is being used in Anatolia since the time of the Phrygians who lived long before the time of Solomon.

Running Water - Su Yolu

The star motif on an Anatolian weaving generally means happiness and does not imply heaven for which a cloud, a dragon or a phoenix is used in many works including miniatures and other textiles.
The six pointed star generally known as the Solomon's Seal is being used in Anatolia since the time of the Phrygians who lived long before the time of Solomon.

Burdock - Pitrak

Burdock is a plant with burrs which stick to the clothing of people and the hair of animals. It is believed to be capable of warding off the evil eye. On the other hand, the fact that the term "like a burdock" means full of flowers, accounts for the use of this motif on flour bags as a symbol of abundance.

Hand, Finger, Comb - El, Parmak, Tarak

The number of fingers on the hand, which is five, is used as a protection against evil eye.
In Anatolia the concepts of fertility and motherhood which implies birth are closely related. This relation can be traced back to Kybele and Virgin Mary. During the Islamic period it was symbolized by the name of "Mother Fatma" or "Mother Fadime". The motif called "Hand of Mother Fadime" is widely used in Anatolian weaves.

Amulet, Evil Eye - Muska, Nazarlik

It is believed that some people possess a power in their glance which causes harm, injury, misfortune and even death. Evil eyes are various objects that reduce the effect of evil glance, thus protecting the ones who carry them. Blue beads, wild mustard, garlic, sea shells, old coins, lead, mercury, the shell of a small turtle, silver and gold 'Masallah' motifs (inscription of the word meaning 'God save him' on gold or silver) are used with this purpose.

Hook - Cengel

Another Anatolian motif used against evil eye is the hook. It is also called "cakmak", "egri ala", "balik" and "kucuk kara balik".
The variation called "gonul cengeli" is mostly used on stockings and implies marriage.

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