Tuesday, January 03, 2012

protection gifts

Embroidered patterns such as triangles, zigzags, hands, eyes and horns have tremendous power. The force of a pattern is strengthened by repeating it, and by adding tassels. For Eastern European countries formerly under Ottoman rule, unfinished patterns are especially powerful. They symbolize the continuity of life. The triangle's sharp corners have the power to ward off evil. In many religions including Christianity, the triangle symbolizes the trinity. Red represents the blood of life and of death and is the most powerful and exhilarating of all colours. Red threads are associated with spirit worship, marriage, and secret powers.
I gave each of our adult children one of these amulets for Christmas. For protection yes, but also for beauty. Tassels hung on wrapped cords confuse and entrap the evil eye. White beads that finish their edges are typical of Uzbek embroidery. I'm not sure, but I believe that these small hangings were used at thresholds, or on walls across from the quilts, or between the piled quilts. I hang mine in my window. So cold here today. The ice came in.

I'm grateful to Sheila Paine who writes about ilgitsh such as these in her books about world textiles. These ones were purchased from the Textile Museum of Canada.


  1. Anonymous11:57 pm

    oh wow.

    i hope in time to have 1/25 of your talent and vision

  2. What a wonderful gift for your children...I really enjoyed reading about the protection gifts and the significance of shape, colour, form.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Jacky xox

  3. How beautiful. Incorporating talismans (or is it talismen?) and symbols for protection is something that is personally meaningful. Thanks for sharing.

    Judy, Thanks also for sharing about your M. Circle Project. I am in the midst of proposing a community collaborative art project, and the information you've provided is really helpful.

  4. talismans and the rituals of making them. then gift giving. what a good way to start the year.

  5. reading sheila paine was a revelation to me. i think your gifts were very powerful... in these uncertain times, our grown children can use amulets.

  6. beautiful embroidery and thanks for the link to the book

  7. Some interesting facts I never knew. Thanks.

  8. thank you for sharing this... I adore symbols and enjoyed seeing these, the triangle the power of the trinity...

  9. Lovely idea! You may know that Sheila Paine has written several excellent books, including one specifically about amulets - and her travel books give a flavour of what an amazing woman she is!

  10. I love amulets, and symbols, and your post has inspired me to make "something" for a wedding gift for my son and his partner. I checked my library and was pleased to see they have a couple of Sheila Paine's books, which I've reserved. Thanks for sharing your gifts.

  11. love this
    so inspiring
    dreaming tassels
    and triangles
    new work


    xox - eb.

  12. I really enjoyed this post and spent a good amount of time last night researching amulets.

    Very beautiful.

  13. Thanks for reminding me about the power of triangles. I have always wanted to make some of these amulets myself, but other projects always seem to get priority. Maybe this is the year I'll do it!

  14. Just looking through your past posts for the Dance video when I came on this one I had somehow missed--so wonderful--the ethnography--and the photos--and looking out your window with you (it could be a woven piece in itself,


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx