The unusual rugs of Central Asia display themes from many cultures including China with fretwork borders, lotus blossoms and cloud-bands India with the swastika denoting infinity Turkey with bold reciprocal borders and carnations and Persia with floral trellis work. Traces of Buddhist symbols abound with the use of red signifying the sun and the realm of the senses, Samsara, with the blue medallions or roundels being the spiritual as well as the night, and their roundness a representation of the moon. The common placement of three medallions may represent that of a Buddha and its flanking Bohisattvas on an altar.
The use of a stylized cloud or archaic rams’ horn pattern in many borders is a combination of the mundane and the spiritual with the clouds being a celestial sign and the horns reflective of the earth and the powers of darkness. Perhaps the most evocative of all of the East Turkestan motifs is the pomegranate that signifies prosperity and fertility. Sassanian representations, Western mythologies and Islamic geometries commingle within the Buddhist leaning Samarkand repertoire. Woven at the crossroads of many civilizations it is fitting that these rugs should employ such rich and varied symbolism. Samarkand is history’s definitive melting pot and its carpets are the ultimate expression of global multiculturalism.
- Rug Store
- Oriental Rug Store
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