ACOR: Cicim and Zili by Donna Endres

Category: Lectures

The American Conference on Oriental Rugs offered quite a few interesting focus and hands-on sessions held by collectors and rug-professionals. One of the focus sessions “Cicim and Zili: Weft-Patterned Weavings of Anatolia” by Donna Endres on April 22nd, turned out to be a real hands-on session, with very interested collectors discussing textiles with Donna Endres long after her session had ended.

ADIYAMAN BROCADED PANEL. This is one half of a bi-paneled weaving on gray goat hair warps. Several types of brocading, including soumak, were executed in bands on the balanced ground. This particular type can be seen in Arend Bandsma and Robin Brandt’s FLATWEAVES OF TURKEY, p. 125, Plate 86.

Donna Endres is the owner of Istanbul to Samarkand Rug Gallery. Educated in art and art history, her “rug and textile life” began while living in Istanbul during the mid-80s, through study and visits to Anatolian weaving centers.

“The immense variety in both brocading techniques and the design canon is a tribute to the creative genius of, primarily, Turkmen tribal weavers who brought their design aesthetics with them from Central Asian to a new land — preserving and interpreting cherished motifs, while weaving in a manner better-suited to the new lifestyle and climate. These complex, largely overlooked vernacular weavings deserve much more attention,” remarked Endres.

BALIKESIR YUNCU BROCADED RUG. An identical type, from the Yürük Collection, Germany, is shown and described in Belkis Balpinar’s KILIM-CICIM-ZILI-SUMAK, pp. 104-05. The Turkman roots of such weavings are obvious.


KEÇMUHSINE STEPPED, OPEN MIHRAB, TREE-OF-LIFE PRAYER CICIM. Identical example from the Yüruuk Collection, Germany shown in KILIM-CICIM-ZILI-SUMAK, pp 80-81. Several examples have been published elsewhere. These very special weavings are highly regarded in Anatolia and rarely come onto the market. They hold special significance related to a religious concept of Kadiri and Hakçibendi Sufi sects, and as such are treated with respect. They are only made in Keçemuhsine, but other Central and Western Anatolian weavers immulate the general design.
CAMEL WOOL BROCADED RUG FROM THE OBRUK YAYLA. Identical type collected from Konya’s Aladdin Mosque for Vakiflar Museum Study. See Balpinar and Udo Hirsch’ FLATWEAVES OF THE VAKIFLAR MUSEUM ISTANBUL, PP. 266-267. This is yet another typical type, woven by a segment of a tribal group in one of the villages of the former yayla (summer pasture) of Obruk (Konya area). According to Balpinar in KILIM-CICIM-ZILI-SUMAK, members of this tribal group live in different villages now, though they are of common origin.
CENTRAL ANATOLIA [MALATYA ?] WEFTLESS SOUMAK ALA CUVAL. This is one of a pair in Donna Endres’ collection. All ala cuvals are made in pairs. The warps in this one are of coarse black goat hair. Most of the soumak is countered, with some areas of plain soumak. Anatolian weavers do not produce much pure soumak, but use it in concert with reciprocal brocade on their cuvals. In the Hakkari area, Herki weavers use countered soumak on certain of their rugs. Plain soumak appears to be very rare in Anatolia.
BERGAMA ALA ÇUVAL. This older bag is complete and typical for the area. These weavers place the pattern in horizontal bands across the bag, while most Central Anatolian weavers create two vertical pattern bands on their bags.
KARAPINAR-OBRUK AREA, BI-PANEL STAR-MOTIF CICIM. Donna indicated that she has seen two others of this type, and a younger example is also part of her collection. She has not seen this type published.
HATAY PROVINCE RAM’S HORN CICIM. Identical type shown in FLOWERS OF THE YAYLA, p. 46, Plate VI.

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