Kilim Buyers Guide

Symbolism

Before you buy a Kilim for yourself, take the time to understand its meaning and significance. These rugs are woven works of art and often woven by Turkish mothers to pass on to their children, friends and extended families, in the same way that patchwork quilts are often passed on through Western families.

Here is a list of common Kilim symbols (Courtesy of Wikipedia):

Hands-on-hips Elibelinde Elibelinde2.jpg Motherhood
Fertility
Marriage ♀ principle (4 examples)
Cross Haç Cross Kilim Motif.jpg Protection Evil eye to divide the evil eye into four
(2 examples)
Hook Çengel Hook Kilim Motif.jpg Protection Evil eye to destroy the evil eye
Eye Göz Eye Kilim Motif.jpg Protection Evil eye to ward off the evil eye
(3 examples)
Comb Tarak Comb Kilim Motif.jpg Protection Birth,
Marriage
(2 examples)
Running water Su Yolu Running Water Kilim Motif.jpg Fresh water Life very important in tribal life
(3 examples)
Fertility Bereket Fertility Kilim Motif.jpg Fertility Marriage Combines ♀ Hands-on-hips, ♂ Ram’s horn
(2 examples)
Ram’s horn Koçboynuzu Ram's Horn Kilim Motif.jpg Fertility,
Power,
Masculinity
Marriage ♂ principle (2 examples)
Star Yıldız Star Kilim Motif.jpg Fertility,
Happiness
Marriage Solomon’s seal
Love and Unison Aşk ve Birleşim Love and Unison Kilim Motif.jpg Love and harmony Marriage Derived from Oriental
Yin/Yang motif Taijitu - Small (CW).svg
Amulet Muska Amulet Kilim Motif.jpg Protection
Luck
Evil eye Contained a verse of scripture
(3 examples)
Bird Kuş Bird Kilim Motif, for luck and happiness, etc.jpg Luck,
Happiness,
Strength
Life Owl and raven signify bad luck;
pigeon and nightingale, good luck.
Also souls of the dead; expectation of news.
(2 examples)
Fetter Bukaǧı Fetter Kilim Motif.jpg Union Marriage To tie family or lovers together.
The fetter tied front and hind legs of a goat.
Trousseau chest Sandıklı Trousseau Chest Kilim Motif.jpg Marriage,
Children
Marriage Unmarried women prepared dowry in a chest.
Earring Küpe Earring Kilim Motif.jpg Marriage A common wedding present
Wolf’s Mouth
Wolf’s Track
Kurt Aǧzi
Kurt İzi
Wolf's Mouth Kilim Motif.jpg Protection of the flocks Wolves (2 examples)
Scorpion Akrep Scorpion kilim motif.jpg Protection Scorpions (2 examples) Similar motifs are used for other
animals such as Spider, Crab and Dragon.
Dragon Ejder Dragon Kilim Motif.jpg Protection? Dragon is “master of air and water”,
cause of lunar eclipse, guard of treasure.
(4 examples)
Tree of life Hayat Aǧacı Tree of Life Kilim Motif.jpg Immortality Many different plants may be represented,
e.g. beech, cypress, fig, oak,
olive, palm, pomegranate, vine
Burdock Pitrak Burdock Kilim Motifs.jpg Protection,
Abundance
Evil eye Plant is used to ward off evil eye.
With many flowers, it symbolizes abundance.