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How did Elibelinde travel to the Swat Valley?

March 18, 2018 2 min read

So here is Elibelinde motif that is found in Anatolia – in their weavings and other forms of art.

240px-Elibelinde3.svg[from Wikipedia]


Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 6.37.30 AM.png [from google]

It has many creative renditions as we can see in the picture composed of kilims featuring this motif.

Now here is a shawl I have had with me from Swat valley that is estimated to be from the 1800s.


It has been with me for a few years now and it is only this morning at 6 am that I realised that the motif is undeniably the Elibelinde motif!

a 627 ATI-627-Antique-Textile-5.jpg


How did this cultural meme that is common to Anatolia / Turkey travel to Swat Valley?

A distance of about 5000km!!

In an era with no internet … or planes … how did this meme come to be in two different geographical regions?

Are there more Swat examples of this type surviving in the accessible domain? In any case the number of antique Swat examples is small for a variety of reasons. [will re-examine all in my possession to see if Elibelinde can be found in others]

Back to the original question: HOW!

The answer to this question could  certainly earn me a Ph.D. if I cared to exchange my precious time for the deep study of a single topic. But I have many lives to live within this one and cannot afford the luxury of loyalty and devotion to just one

But this makes this textile far more important to me than others of he category. For perhaps it holds within it a secret …. and a lost past.

Maybe the answer is already out there. Maybe people have already published this and this migration of culture  is common knowledge.

Please share your knowledge with me if you know something about this.

View more details of this lovely textile here.


March 2018




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