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“The Fortune Teller”
Star readings have been performed by Turkish women for many years to interpret dreams and/or foresee the future. In this illustration, the sky and the stars have been represented by traditional patterns inspired the tulip figure, which is a common symbol to represent women, paired with a woman portrait looking up at them suggesting the start reading.
The heart of someone is considered to be the gate to their soul in Turkish beliefs. One of the most common motifs for heart and soul symbolization are carnation flowers. The motif in this composition is inspired by traditional rug patterns based on this theme.
Moon symbolism and its connection to fertility in Anatolian culture. The symbols within the motif depict the phases of the moon. The woman figure embracing the motif symbolize the rituals and the bond between the moon and women. The motif placed on her stomach is a traditional pattern called “Elibelinde”, commonly found on rugs, which symbolizes fertility and
womanhood. The monochromatic red palette is a reference to the elements of blood, menstrual cycle, and fertility.
The Holy Mother figure adapted from the Virgin Mary with the figure of the evil eye, both often represented together in Turkey since they’re seen as holy and protective figures. Virgin Mary has been adapted as another protective figure just like the evil eye due to the many ancient churches named after Her all-over Turkey. The halo motif consists of eye and carnation shapes, the eyes symbolizing protection and the carnations symbolizing holiness.
Water is represented as a purifying element in Turkish symbolism and seen as a representation of the soul and life. The swirly patterns within the figures on the background are commonly found in rugs and ceramics representing the waves of the water. This connection is symbolized by illustrating a woman underwater slowly dissolving into it and becoming the water.
Pouring lead to repel the evil eye is a tradition that is still being practiced and hundreds of years before. The person who is receiving the lead sits down on the floor on their knees with a white cloth over their face as hot lead gets poured into cold water over their head. The loud sound the lead makes is interpreted as the evil eye breaking and the person getting rid of their bad luck. This composition is a symbolic representation of the lead droplets and the evil eye.
“The Funeral of a Goddess”
The ritual of henna burning has been performed for thousands of years which is a ritual that women do the night before their wedding day. At the beginning of the night, the bride places a piece of henna into her palms and burns it, as it burns, they cover it in red cloth which also burns her hands. The original meaning of this ritual is that when women decide to get married, they are sacrificing themselves spiritually to the gods meaning they’re giving up their goddess power. The motif is inspired by the flames and the common patterns of the bride’s dress.
The tradition of women constantly knitting and learning how to make very intricate laces. The reason they did this is to give something not so valuable value. For example, a small piece of lace would get over an old broken radio in the house so that the radio gains value. During the process, they would always cut the tip of their fingertips since the needle is very long and thin so the red colour palette represents the blood. The lace is never for them to keep rather than to add value to something else or to pass it on to someone else. In this composition, the woman wears the lace owning it.
The wolf as an animal, a divine creature, and as a metaphor is one of the most common appearances of it in the Anatolian shamanic culture. The goddess/she-wolf “Asena” is believed to be the only ancestor of all women and her blood runs through all women’s veins.
In Anatolia, almost all shaman healers were women who would perform healing rituals with sacrificed animals using their blood and skin. Women’s powers come from the goddesses and the moon.