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 Post subject: Camel trappings
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:21 am
Posts: 2
:?: I am wondering if anyone knows what the tent/canopy structure that was used historically for wealthy women to travel via camel in the Sahara was called. Also what the festive wailing cry that the tribal women in North Africa make is called. THANKS! walley


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Dear Walley

I am afraid that I cannot be much help to you on this! I have had a look at my (rather limited) library on Northern Africa but have found nothing relevant to your question.

One of our members lived in the Middle East for some years so may be able to assist but I believe that she is currently on holiday in Vietnam so is off line. I will drop her an email to ask her to check out your question on her return.

At present the main area of expertise of our members is not particularly northern africa/sahara but rather southeast Asia and China with some interest in India.

best regards,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:21 am
Posts: 2
Thanks Pamela!ImageCan you identify this textile? It is handwoven hemp of linen like fiber, with over embroidered brickwork stitches, all on the surface of the front, they don't go through to the back of the piece. It is about 4 feet by 8 feet. Can't find anyone who knows where it is from. I though it might be Central Asian?
I appreciate you help!
Walley


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 Post subject: Central Asian textile?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Walley

I am afraid that I cannot identify your textile. However, I agree with you that it has a very 'Central Asian' feel to it. I have spent some time leafing through my library - and rediscovered an excellent book: "Traditional Textiles of Central Asia" by Janet Harvey, published by Thames and Hudson in 1996 - thank you for that! There were a couple of Kirgiz items which, whilst not the same had a similar 'feel'. However, the motifs in your textile could be Uzbek, Kazak or Turkmen.

I was interested to hear that you thought that your textile was 'handwoven hemp or linen like fiber' as I would not have expected this of Central Asia. However, Janet Harvey on page 46 of the book referenced above says:

"Although in the fourteenth century the energetic ruler Timur encouraged the cultivation of cotton, flax and hemp, of these fibre-giving plants only cotton is suited to the Central Asian climate. There is some local production of linen from flax cultivation and of hemp from the indigenous Cannabis sativa of the family Urticaceae, as well as of ramie from a plant of the same family, genus Giradivia, which grows in the hill country of East Turkestan."

The reference to Turkestan is interesting as there is an excellent book: "The Arts and Crafts of Turkestan" by Johannes Kalter published by Thames and Hudson in 1984 where several of the motifs illustrated have affinity with those in your textile.

It is very likely that a carpet expert would say, looking at your textile, that the motifs are similar to particular carpets and that might aid identification. Why not post to the TurkoTek discussion forum and see if you can get any assistance there - see http://www.turkotek.com/VB22/index.php

Do come back to us here if you manage to get your textile identified and share the information with us. Good luck!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Hi Wally,

I think your textile has a rare for Cental Asia "tree of life" motif; it appears to be a kilim (flat weave) with possible "sumac" overstitching, or what is called "supplementary weft" technically.

I think it is Caucasian, and very likely Armenian or Georgian in origin. A number of Armenian carpets have been appearing on the West Coast markets for some time now, and since the Armenians are Christian, their textiles have a different "feel" than those from Islamic areas.

As your question about the sounds made by North African women, it is a variant of the Arabic uvular or pharyngal trill, which is also the sound Palestinian women make in mourning; this sound is produced only by women, and can mark any occasion, festive or not. Listen for it on news from the Middle East.

For more information about either glottal, pharyngal or uvular trills in Arabic,
may I suggest just going to Google and inputting: arabic phonology.

I hope this is of help.

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Sandie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Hi Walley,

I hope you got some good results from your Google search. As I noted, this trill is spread throughout the Arabic world, and is used only by women.

I thought the following quote from the San Francisco Chronicle today (Dec.24) would interest you. It was made by a 9 year old Iraqi boy who was treated for wounds sustained in US bombing, and was sent to the Children's Hosapital in Oakland, CA for specialized treatment:

" Saleh said he is so happy to be getting out of the hospital that he would give a high-pitched yell, the kind Iraqi women shriek at weddings to celebrate".

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Sandie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Haudi Walley- I greet you this way because I lived in Saudi Arabia for 13 years and was mentioned by Pamela in her first post. The term for the sound made by women throughout the Middle East and North Africa is 'ululate'. It must take lots of practice, because I've never been able to achieve it. Regarding the camel-borne shelter: I can only say that in English the structure is commonly called a 'litter'. I used to know the Arabic term, but cannot find it right now. There might be a special term used in North Africa. The only source with any information on this in my library is John Topham's excellent book Traditional Crafts of Saudi Arabia, p.115. There are different kinds and designs: the most extravagant being called a 'zetab'. He quotes a text to describe these by A. Musil called Manners and Customs of the Rwala Bedouins from 1928: "The appearance of a number of these litters during a march is impressive...they resemble huge butterflies swaying freely to and fro in the air". This design varies from the usual seen in Saudi Arabia, which were more compact. As for special textile coverings: I have not seen any myself nor any in books. Usually they just had a variety of blankets over them; nothing specially woven, tho that may not have been the case in the past. Feel free to write me with any questions and perhaps I could write some Arab friends for more info.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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