Through observation, questions arise.\nIn the case of textiles of vanishing cultures, the answers most often lie buried in the past completely covered by the sands of time.\nFor it appears that too many of the tribes, nomads, gypsies and ethnic minorities \u2013 the creators of these wonderful arts \u2013 all seem to have focused on their \u2018present\u2019 and simultaneously have neglected the people in their future i.e. us.\nAnd so today we are left with mere conjectures. Conjectures pieced together based on scraps of singular anecdotes handed down based on fading memories and reconstructions rather than real first-hand experiences.\nIn the case of tribal textiles or extinct textile art forms, even noted academicians and art historians are forced to promulgate their theories with a liberal smattering of words such as \u2018perhaps\u2019, \u2018suggest\u2019, \u2018point to\u2019, \u2018could be\u2019 \u2018is likely\u2019. And while their frustration at the lack of definitive proof even after spending years (& university funds) in research, is understandable and their conjectures commendable, they do not offer a sense of being the final word. We have no \u2018truth\u2019 or \u2018fact\u2019. And it appears that we are as far from the conclusive formula that explains it all\u00a0 as we were when we embarked upon this journey of understanding the history of cultural art. *\nIf it is not from the horse\u2019s mouth,\u00a0 if the theory is not based on either a) direct observations that include statistically significant numbers of data points OR b) objective surveys\u00a0 with the number of respondents confirming a hypothesis in statistically significant numbers \u2013 as is the case with every irrefutable theory in physics or economics or marketing \u2013 and if all the evidence is sufficient only to create hypotheses and insufficient to confirm them statistically, if all the leading arguments are only anecdotal tales from a handful of people, then there is really no scientific basis to rule out other hypotheses based on alternate anecdotes or to confirm yours as the final truth.\nThe truth is buried deep under the sands of time along the paths of migrations.\nAnd like every other curious & interested outsider,\u00a0 here I am, attempting to sweep away these sands with logic & scraps of information in the hope of seeing a glimpse of the ultimate treasure \u2018truth\u2019.\n***\nOthers have examined motifs from the artistic, the evolution and origin perspectives. I am approaching the topic from the cultural background perspective. What was it that inspired a motif, what is the story behind its presence on a textile \u2013 and if there is a commonality in motifs between two groups that appear to be very different from each other, how is it that the motif is seen in the art of both?\nThese are the questions I will explore. I have no answers. Just questions. But not having the answers does not make this endeavor less holy or more tainted or unworthy of attention. It is questions such as these that have \u2018launched a thousand \u201cships\u201d (or journeys)\u00a0 \u2013 at least for me.\nEnough rambling. Now onto some real examples in the forthcoming notes.\njm\nSep 2014\nby Jaina Mishra\nby wovensouls\nThe post Motif & Meaning \u2013 2 appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.