The Meaning of Symbols used in Tribal Rugs & Kilims

Kilim Symbols
Kilim Symbols

Anatolian Kilims have included mysterious symbols since ancient times. Each of these symbols is infused with meaning and purpose expressing the feelings and desires of the weavers. Here are the meanings of some of the common symbols found in these flatweaves:

Tree of Life: Common to many ancient religious traditions spanning the globe, the Tree of Life is a symbol of immortality and life after death. It is often depicted with a pair of birds. Legend says when the person dies, the birds fly away from the tree.

Scorpion: The poison tail of the scorpion is a common fear in the Anatolian region. Scorpion motifs are used as a symbol of protection against the deadly desert dweller.

Comb or Hand: The comb symbol is used to protect against the evil eye, especially during births and marriages.

Eye: The eye symbol is another form of protection against the evil eye.

Fertility or “Hands on Hips”:  The symbol for motherhood and fertility.

Star: A star generally symbolizes happiness.

Dragon: Often symbolized as a cloud, the dragon of some Anatolian legends brings the Spring rains.

Amulet or Evil Eye: It was believed that a person could do harm, cause injury, or even kill with a glance. This concept is known as the Evil Eye. The amulet symbol is another form of protection against the curse of a wicked human’s glance.

Burdock: Burdock is often used as a symbol for abundance. It is also yet another symbol for warding off the Evil Eye.

Hair Band: Anatolian brides wear headbands during wedding ceremonies, thus the hair band symbol represents marriage, or the desire to be married.

Nasser Luxury Rugs carries a wide assortment of Kilims. Click here to view our Kilim collection.