« Exhibitions since 1999 »    © Galerie KELIM

16 Sept. - 04 Nov. 2008


nomadic woven treasures


HEYBE, Central Anatolia, Konya,

19th ct. knotted ( front / back)

127 x 51 cm

HEYBE, with parts of leather, Northwest Anatolia

(front / back)

Ending 19th ct. knotted by Yagcebedir,
115 x 45 cm

YASTIK, Central Anatolia, Kecimusine,

beginning 20th ct., knotted

106 x 51 cm

YASTIK, Central Anatolia, reg. Konya,

19ct. knotted, 100 x 60 cm

CUVAL, Southwest Anatolia, Taurus, (front / back)

19th ct. woven, 115 x 75 cm

CUVAL, South Anatolia, Taurus, region Muth, (front / back)

19th ct., woven, 130 x 93 cm

Heybe, Yastik, Cuval ...

Nomads and Their Textile Artifacts of Daily Life

16 September – 4 November 2008

Woven and knotted textiles have always been essential items in the everyday life of nomadic people. Many pieces for everyday use were made from sheep's wool and goat's hair that were available in the households. Among these nomadic textiles heybe, yastik, and cuval are particularly remarkable.

As nomads were constantly on the move, textile containers were ideal for transportation as well as for storage. The heybe (saddle bag) was used to carry smaller and more valuable possessions on horses or donkeys. The yastik (a large cushion) makes a seat when stuffed but it is also handy as a small storing sack.

The cuval (a large decorated bag) serves for storing and transporting cereal and other field crops but is used for textiles, clothes and any sort of transportable objects, too.

There are many more kinds of woven and knotted textiles for everyday use as well as for festive occasions. These textile containers did not only have to be useful, they also had to be beautiful. Here, the women had a chance to demonstrate their skills and to organise and embellish their environment in a most creative way.

The woven and knotted textiles of different tribes vary considerably in the choice of colours, design and composition. Nearly every feature is determined by ancient traditions, which explains that even today many pieces can be assigned to specific tribes or regions.

Most of the exhibits on display are from the mountainous regions of Anatolia where nomadic life had survived for a much longer period than elsewhere.

Today, there are the "semi-nomadic people" who take their animals up into the mountains, to the "yayla", in summer and return to their winter quarters, the "kisla", in autumn. They still use traditional textiles to transport their belongings, although a lot of textile containers have meanwhile been replaced by synthetics and other lighter materials.

Since the era of nomadic life is finished, those artfully worked textile containers have become rare; they are worn down and no longer needed. Most of the beautiful exhibits on display were made by nomad women during the 19th to early 20th centuries. Household textiles of nomadic people from Persia, the Caucasus, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan complete the collection.

« Exhibitions since 1999 »   <<© Galerie KELIM>> <Tour of the Galerie KELIM exhibitions >