Carpets and kilims since their beginning, were not created just for meeting man's physical needs but also for his psychological wishes. Religious beliefs and ritual life enrich and develop philosophical thoughts and the soul of man. This influences both the artist and his work in various ways. Just looking at the motifs and compositions in the carpets and kilims makes this evident. The meanings of the motives in Turkish carpet are different depending on the region. However, generally the motives symbolize religious beliefs, nobility, power and the other themes described below briefly. The language of carpets and kilims not only indicates the skill of the weaver but also transmits their messages.
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 the evil glance, thus protecting the ones who carry them. Muska is a written charm which is believed to have magical and religious power to protect the possessor from dangerous external factors.
The bird motifs seen in Turkish carpets have various meanings. While birds live owls and ravens imply bad luck, doves, pigeons and nightingales are used to symbolize good luck. The bird is the symbol of happiness, joy and love. It stands for power and strenght. It is the imperial symbol of various states founded in Anatolia. The birds also refers to divine messengers and long life. The Anka bird (Phoenix) fighting with the dragon refers to spring.
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.
This motif in general, symbolizes the trousseau chest of a young girl. Since the objects in this chest is to be used in the husband's house, the expactations and hopes of the young girl are reflected in the pieces she has woven knitted and embroidered.
In Turkish carpets hooks and various cross types are used frequently to protect from danger.
Earrings are indispensable as a wedding present in Anatolia. A girl using this motif is trying to inform her family that she wants to get married.
It is believed that some people possess a power in their glance which causes harm, injury, misfortune and even death. The eye motifs were produced because of the belief that the human eye is the best protection against evil gazes.
Hands on hips and ram's horn motifs used together denote a man and a woman. The fertility pattern is composed of two 'elibelinde' motifs indicating the female and two 'koçboynuzu' motifs indicating the male. The eye motif in the middle of composition is used to protect the family against the evil eye.
Hand, finger comb motifs including five points and five lines represents the belief that fingers are protection from the evil eye. Hand motifs combining productivity and good fortune also are a holy motive because it symbolizes the hand of the prophet Mohammed's sister. The comb motif is largely related with marriage and birth. It is used to express the desire for getting married and to protect birth and marriage against the evil eye.
Hands on hips is the symbol of motherhood, femininity and fertility.
Hands on hips is the symbol of motherhood, femininity and fertility.
Ram's Horn represents productivity, heroism, power and masculinity in Turish carpets. Moreover it shows that the weaver is happy and it is the expression of this.
Running water emphasizes the importance of water in human life.
Due to their fear of its venom, people used to carry jewellery in the form of a scorpion or decorated with the tail of a scorpion in order to protect themselves against this animal. The scorpion motif is used for the same purpose.
The star motif in Turkish carpets expresses productivity.
It is the symbol of eternity. The life tree represents the search for immortality and the hope of life after death.
People use these motifs as a means of protection against wolves and monsters. Since ancient times men have believed that they could control and protect themselves from dangerous animals by imitating them or by creating a similar form.