Arts and Literature

Turkey’s Van transfers carpet, rug tradition to future generations

Written by The Frontier Post

VAN, Turkey (AA): Van’s Carpet-Kilim Museum, where historical carpets and rugs, or kilim, woven with motifs reflecting the love, feelings and thoughts of the women in the region are exhibited, takes its visitors on a journey through time.

In the museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, the carpet and rug weaving culture, one of the most important handicrafts of the region, is presented in its original form to keep the art from being forgotten.

The visitors who come to the museum, where 293 carpets and rugs woven by women with different motifs in the past, are exhibited, are informed by the officials about the artifacts bearing the traces of civilizations that existed in the region.

The Carpet-Kilim Museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)
Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center director and lecturer Sibel Leventoğlu speaks to Anadolu Agency, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)

Center director and lecturer Sibel Leventoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that since 1990, rug and Siirt blanket production workshops have been operating actively.

Historical carpets and the tradition of making rugs are transferred to future generations in the museum in eastern Van.

Noting that there are two exhibition halls in the museum featuring 158 rugs belonging to the Van and Hakkari regions, Leventoğlu explained: “Our carpets are also very old. We have 100-year-old carpets in the museum. Some 135 carpets are exhibited. Our carpets were brought to us from many places, but some of the rugs are our production. Our carpets are exhibited here in their current form. We ventilate them outside in the summer. We use mothballs at certain times. We take the necessary precautions to prevent the carpets from being damaged. Since 1990, our carpets and rugs have not been damaged. We dote upon them.”

The Carpet-Kilim Museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)
The Carpet-Kilim Museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)

“Sometimes it is made by analogy with other motifs, but sometimes they weave it in knots with their feelings and thoughts. Rugs have meanings and purposes for touching. All of them embody memory and emotion. That’s why our rugs are as old as the history of humanity. They reflect the period they are in. Therefore, all of these have the characteristics of historical documents and historical artifacts. We can say that it is one of the most beautiful products that have ever been produced by human hands,”

The Carpet-Kilim Museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)

The Carpet-Kilim Museum, which was established within the scope of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Turkish Handicrafts Research and Application Center, Van, eastern Turkey, May 18, 2022. (AA Photo)

Explaining that the motifs in the rugs are very important and that they reflect the feelings and thoughts of the women weaving, Leventoğlu said: “We aim to keep this art, which is on the verge of extinction, alive and to pass it on to future generations. It is very difficult to find a master who weaves rugs nowadays. Turning it into production is one of the most important requirements of the technology of our age. For this, we want to produce our rugs and pass them on to future generations, as well as to provide financial support to our craftsmen. We welcome our people here. They can visit us and get to know our art closely.”

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The Frontier Post