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Culture Traditional forms of Art - Professions textliles Epirus Pogoni

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Decoration of woven articles - symbolisms


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It is impossible for one to attempt to describe all the decorative themes encountered in traditional woven articles. Everything that was woven had its meaning and its symbolism. Particularly when pertaining to woven articles that were landmarks of important moments in the lives of people. All decorative themes have a symbolic meaning e.g. the apron given by the mother in law to the bride, the blankets of the newlyweds, the apron of the pregnant woman etc. Many times the same pattern is described with a different name.
The adornments were woven symmetrically, with a logical consistency, predetermined position. The symmetry achieved as well as the straight seams are impressive given that the woven articles particularly the “homemade” ones are created by joining many narrow panels.
Characteristic is the decoration of the berntes used as curtains and are made of three panels. It is adorned with a type of arch on its central panel that reminds one of a niche (mihrab), as the berntes has its origin in Turkey. The arch symbolically separates the sky from the earth.
In addition, the pillows have a central theme and a border all around.
A particularly common theme is the rhomboid adornment that in the Metsovian vlachiko dialect is called petes. The petes is a favorite theme for all household kinds e.g. ixramia, bouxaropodies, but we also encounter it in other kinds.
Other favourite themes are plants. Indicatively we cite the cypress tree that is referred to as “tree of life”, the apple a symbol of prosperity, flowers, leafs etc. Geometric adornments are the comb patterns, triangular patterns (thorns), acute vertical triangles called prionia, upturned triangles (flowerpots or elenia), and a chain design.
A symbolic theme is the so called “key”, a sigmoid pattern, because according to one version it refers to the key of Constantinople and according to another version it reminds one of the large keys had for homes, while finally it is the symbol of bonding and the union of souls.
In woven articles associated with the rite of marriage represented are equestrian figures that are the bride and the groom, flowers, branches. Characteristic is the berntes given by the mother in law to the newlyweds.
Crosses and snakes on aprons ward off evil for the one wearing it. Other animals such as sheep are encountered in woven articles but never on bouraxopodies (tzakopodies).
The simplest décor is the striped. There are also undecorated woven articles for simpler daily needs.
There are infinite variations of the basic adornments, and infinite names for the same theme. The decorative patterns just as the shapes and the techniques used did not evolve rapidly. To be accurate everything passed on from one generation to the next was only slightly modified.