Nomad Culture And Anatolian Rug

X. and XI. some of the Muslim Oghuz tribes, who came from Central Asia and settled in Anatolia since the 16th century, believed that the principality and nobility were nomadic and Turkmen. Those who settled in the cities did not accept to settle because their province and tribes were not known and decided on nomadism and took the name "Yörük" to distinguish themselves from the settled or semi-nomadic Turkmens. Yörük- comes from the verb to walk as we have mentioned in previous blog. The Yoruks, who interpret themselves as nomadic people who walk and do not stay in one place.

Many villagers and townspeople know the story of their origin and tell it like a fairy tale by word of mouth. Other way of telling the stories was and still is via symbolism weaved in the flatweaves (Kilim, Cicim, Zili, Sumak). This was the only way to preserve their culture, traditions and identities and pass them on to the next generations, since they were carrying limited items with them as a naturel result of their lifestyles. Flatweaves have also became essencial part of artistic expression of nomadic culture. Flatweaves were the memories of ladies' hands (Hanımeli) that have been woven and continue to be woven for centuries. Silent cryings are heard for the fertility of the world and the woman, to the guiadianship of the souls and the sky, for the compassion of the plants and animal kingdom can be seen and almost can be heart within the motifs of the Rugs.

Yörüks, who shape their lives depending on animal husbandry and constantly move between the highland and the winter to find more fertile pastures for their animals, have produced many works from the past to the present and documented the traces of their lives. Flatweaves (Kilim, Cicim, Zili, Sumak – “Rugs” in general use) have been one of the most important elements of nomadic cultures, both as an identity and physically. Flatweaves are not as thick and heavy as the knotted woven (carpet) which has appeared in a much later period than flatweaves. Therefore, carpet was not preferred by nomadic peoples due to its impracticality. In addition, Anatolian Rug, unlike carpet, could be used for different purposes by dividing it into cut pieces when it got old.

Stay tuned with us to dig in more into the fascinating history behind Anatolian Rugs.