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SHYRDAK FELTS

Kyrgyzstan | Wool | Early 20th Century

The Kyrhgyz word shyrdak means mosaic. Two felt panels of different colours were overlaid and drawings of shamanistic origin, made by the eldest woman in the clan, cut into them. Cut out sections were then inlaid into one another, in order to create a perfect fit with no waste. The vibrant positive-negative effect of the carpet is a central theme of Central Asian nomadic cosmology. Depending on the point of view, the alternating inlay work would produce vertigo, an effect often used in shamanic rituals.