Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Put Flying Carpets to Rest

There are no flying carpets in Burnt Amber, sorry to disappoint. I know, Aladdin has one and its all geniefied and yeah its cool.  Remember last week I said djinn are not blue? Well this week I'm blasting flying carpets out of the water.  Djinn do not need them...at all.

But while carpets are not necessary to djinn, they are an important part of Turkish culture. And the carpet designs are not just pretty, there is meaning attached to each knot and color choice.  Visit Istanbul's famed Grand Bazaar , sit down for a cup of yummy elmali çay (apple tea) and a carpet dealer will happily spend your entire afternoon explaining.  There are a few designs in particular I love, the tree of life (a persian motif usually though) and the center medallion.  I almost included a tangent about the medallion for Sybil, maybe I'll still find a way, since I think it's interesting. The medallion represents the earth and the levels of heaven are represented by....I digress. 

Important point : Ottoman sultans relocated the finest weavers to Hereke so they could furnish their palaces. Weavers there still make intricate silk on silk carpets fine enough to hang on a wall as artwork.  Of course, the traditional wool Turkish carpet or flat weave Kilim is nice for that too.  Even with the modern decor so popular in Turkey today, most homes have at least one piece someplace.  Once you get hooked, you'll never buy a machined carpet again, I promise.  Even the ones at IKEA are better than nothing.

Courtesy of Teresathetraveler, we have a brief and informative visit with a carpet dealer in Goreme, which is where I got my Toros carpet (above) as a wedding gift, btw.

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