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  • PSYCHETOLIA

Well-Known Kilim Motifs & Their Meanings


The kilim is actually a success story that has withstood the passage of time. For centuries, kilims have told us the stories of those skilled hands who made them. But have you ever wondered the meanings behind the commonly used motifs on traditional Anatolian kilims? Did you know that there is a distinct message in each one of them if you look closely?

The motifs might have changed a little bit while being passed from one generation to another, however, they continue to express the same feelings even today. Here are some of the very well-known kilim motifs and the meanings behind them:


Scorpion (Akrep)


The scorpion motif is used for protection. Fearing the scorpion’s poison, people have designed jewellery and tools in the shape of a scorpion or its tail to protect themselves from it.


Evil Eye (Nazar)


Some people believe that the powerful gaze of the eye can cause evil, harm, bad luck or even death. Eye motifs are believed to have emerged out of the belief that they are the best safeguards against evil gazes.


Hands on Hips (Elibelinde)


This female figure symbolizes motherhood, reproduction, fertility and abundance. The motif can be seen on the products from very old centuries. It had a different form in almost every region. This motif appears in ancient cultures as the mother goddess and is an essential element in all branches of art in Mesopotamian and Anatolian civilizations.y.


Wolf's Mouth (Kurt Ağzı)


People have used this motif to keep wolves and other animals away. In the old times, they believed that this figure would protect them from dangerous animals so they created animal-like figures that resembled them.


Ram's Horn (Koç Boynuzu)


This motif is widely used on carpets and kilims as the symbol of strength, courage and heroism. In addition, it represents the belief in the family structure and the supremacy of its values. It was the symbol of sovereignty in the Turkish States founded in Central Asia. The ram motif is seen often in the Hittite, Phrygian, Urartu, Artuqids and Seljuk civilizations.

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