KAITAG, Textile Art from Daghestan
exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Emirgan, Istanbul
19 April to 19 August 2007



2
Sun Bird and Oak Tree

Kaitag region, south-west Daghestan
18th century
62 x 91 cm
silk embroidery on cotton

This design of a disciplined horde of eight columns of six birds counter-marching with a similar array of reversed oak trees is a local interpretation of a 17th century Persian woven silk design. In the latter there are small-pattern diagonal repeats of motifs such as plants or birds. The Kaitag version is far from being a mechanical loom design. There are ancient local references to tree worship, and the holes in the birds may denote them as sun birds. The trees and birds are embroidered in eight natural colours of laid and couched blue, brown and golden silk, which appear from, and dissolve into, the beige ground, creating a constantly varying sense of movement. There is a freely drawn black ink outline, covered in a simple brown outline stem stitch.

 

       
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text and images © Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul
and textile-art, London, 2007:
not to be reproduced without permission