Sun Bow Trading: Source Acquisition of Fine Tribal and Nomadic Textile Art Since 1978
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UWW 134
Kilim weave with mohair tassels
and weft float brocade
Bergama, southern Turkey
1'3" x 2'3"

Please call or email us for prices, availibility and additional examples.

Fabric and needlepoint
Lakhai, Uzbekistan
7" x 1'

Please call or email us for prices, availibility and additional examples.
Preliminary Observations on Nazarlik:
Textiles, colors, pattern, language and ornamentation which ward off the evil eye.
Nazar - Arabic for 'a glance or look' - which may contain (even unconsciously) evil thoughts like envy, greed, jealousy and hatred.

Nazarlik - that which repels or misdirects the evil eye.

"Nazarlik are like lightning rods for evil intent. They attract and then repel the evil eye."
Haci Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak (Effendi) former head of the Helvati-Jerrahi Dervish Order, Istanbul.

One of the beliefs held in common by all of humanity, regardless of their time period or their location, is the belief in their interactions with the 'unseen'- both for good or ill.

This belief in "luck," or 'Divine" interaction, seems to be a universal human character which transcends physical location, education, religion, wealth, social status, or lack thereof.

The Ancients believed in this power. The Greeks even had a name for it's application: Apotropaic, meaning having the power to prevent evil or bad luck..

Presently, in 21st century modern and rational America, we have a continuing unease with the number 13 in hotels, office buildings, and airplane seating. In addition we avoid black cats, carry a rabbit's foot, knock on wood, wear religious symbols as jewelry, and hang the upside down horse shoe on a barn or home to protect the inhabitants within from evil.

Amongst the traditional peoples of the Silk Road this pattern of belief continues to be a active part of their world-view.

We have all seen the blue beads from the near and middle east. Sometimes called camel beads, or evil eye beads, they are a traditional part of indigenous Turkic, and general Islamic culture. Even today, in modern and westernized Turkey, one can still find remnants of this ancient belief and those people who send it.

These "Nazar-men" (singular, al-Hasid) are famous throughout Turkish folklore, and instructions to assist one in warding off their influence are both religious and social. The evil eye is referenced in the Koran, and in the Hadith (sayings of Muhammad).

Within Turkic society, colors, symbols, pattern and design are used to ward away malefic intent. Even the most westernized Turks may have a small blue bead pinned under their suit collar, and most still carry their tasbih or prayer beads (for prayer and for good luck). This is especially true for small children. Even a 'modern' Turkish mother will pin a blue bead on her child's clothing. Just in case..

Other societies within modern Turkey (like the Kurds, the Alawites and Yezdis) view colors and patterns in much the same manner. Even the non Islamic Turks (the Jews and Christians) conform to this social usage of Nazarlik.

The color blue is held to be highly auspicious. One finds the evil eye or camel beads are blue. The color blue not only represents the sky (that which is closest to God) but also the color of the peacock, which to the Yezdis is the creature favored by God's favorite angel - Shaitan.

Yet another explanation is that when the dye indigo was introduced, its instant and astounding transformation from yellow to blue was so awe inspiring that the color blue assumed magical properties. (This occurrence is natural, and is the result of the dyed materials exposure to oxygen when it emerges from the dye pot.)

Kurdish belief holds that evil does not like pink, orange and other very bright colors. Often one can observe Kurdish homes and doorways painted these very bright colors, as well as their long distance trucks. In fact Kurdish weavings usually feature some pinks, and oranges - sometimes the fringe is brightly dyed.

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We've been outfitting caravans
from Downtown Charlottesville since 1978.
   Open Monday through Saturday
11:00 - 6:00
Awaiting the Pleasure of Your Visit
Traditional Tea Served
  Sun Bow Trading Company
110 W South Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902

Right off the Mall
The South Street Bed & Breakfast
The South Street Brewery
Directly behind
The Farmers' Market