Symbols used in Tibetan Carpets and their Motifs
Tibetan carpet making is one of the traditional ancient crafts. Those carpets are traditionally made from Tibetan Highland sheep’s wool called changpen. Tibetan carpets, on were first used for secular, utilitarian purposes, and therefore allowed for a greater range of artistic expression. For hundreds of years, Tibetans have used carpets for decorative and functional purposes, drawing upon geometric patterns, auspicious symbols, real and mythical animals, and natural imagery to create beautiful, colorful designs and subject matter.
Table of Contents
- 1 - A Brief History of Tibetan Carpet
- 2 - Symbols and their motifs in Tibetan Carpet
- 2.1 - Traditional Symbols in Tibetan Carpet
- 2.2 - Buddhist Symbols in Tibetan Carpets
- 2.3 - Pictures as language
- 2.4 - Dragon Carpets
- 2.5 - Phoenix Carpets
- 2.6 - Dragon and Phoenix carpet
- 2.7 - Chrysanthemum Traditional Tibetan Carpets
- 2.8 - Floral forms
- 2.9 - Coin design
- 2.10 - Coin and Floral design
- 2.11 - Orchid Design
- 2.12 - Lotus Flower Design
- 2.13 - Snow lion
- 2.14 - Swastika
- 2.15 - Vase
- 2.16 - Door Carpets
- 3 - Modern Tibetan Rug Design
A Brief History of Tibetan Carpet
Tibetan rug-making is one of the ancient traditions of the Central Asian region. Tibet prides itself on its long history of fine craftsmanship and quality finishes and is extremely conscious of its influence on neighboring countries like Nepal and India. They have been welcoming Tibetans willing to teach their nation’s rug-making methods. Due to this, Tibet’s traditions have subsequently brought new and thriving businesses to their neighbors and thus, attracted buyers from all around the world.
Symbols and their motifs in Tibetan Carpet
Carpets can also be carriers of encrypted messages. Here, Let’s discuss some of the symbols used in Tibetan Carpets and their motifs:
Traditional Symbols in Tibetan Carpet
- Buddhist symbols in Tibetan carpets.
- Pictures as Language
- Dragon Carpets
- Phoenix as symbol
- Combination of Dragon and Phoenix
- Floral forms
- Coin design
- Coin and floral design
- Lotus design
- Orchid design
Buddhist Symbols in Tibetan Carpets
The language of symbols is easily recognizable in carpet knotting. Buddhist symbols combined with some other symbol gives complete another meaning. Therefore, most of the motifs of Tibetan carpets is mostly for this reason which is more or less readable.
Pictures as language
A pictorial carpet is mainly referred to as an ornamental carpet which is specially prepared for decoration as well and informative purpose weather for hanging in a room or walls of the hall. These types of carpets are generally made up of silk and some of them are also made from wool. In the context of Asian art, the symbols themselves are part of visual composition. The motif of this type pf carpet is “ Picture speaks more than word”.
Dragons are symbols for power, strength, and divine protection. They also represent wisdom, fortune, and advancement within the Chinese iconography. They represent that the very best divine power on Earth and were, for that reason, reserved for the emperor. The dragon stands for the Yin, symbolizing the East and therefore rain. Additionally, it’s a male element and also denotes masculinity. The Dragon in Tibetan Carpet symbolizes power, strength, and divine Protection.
Carpets consisting of the design of Phoenix refer to grace and elegance. The mythical bird phoenix combines the five qualities of a good life: virtuousness, a way of duty, blamelessness, humanity, and dependability. In its symbolic grace and elegance, the phoenix was also a logo reserved for an empress in China. The Phoenix in Tibetan carpets symbolizes grace and elegance that adds to the family, work on other places.
Dragon and Phoenix carpet
Dragon and Phoenix are two of the most powerful symbols of success and prosperity in Chinese mythology. Within the Chinese iconography, the mixture of the dragon and phoenix developed a replacement meaning. Together, they represent the imperial pair (emperor and empress), the harmonic unity of masculinity and femininity, also as that of Yin and Yang. Dragon is the “Yin” and Phoenix is the “Yang”, believed for a perfect balance that is needed for a successful life. There is believed that if the carpet having both Dragon and Phoenix is kept, This will lead to a happy marriage life or successful married life. Dragons and Phoenix in Tibetan carpet symbolize success and leading a happy life.
Chrysanthemum Traditional Tibetan Carpets
Chrysanthemum sounds almost like the concept of “resistance” or “to take a stand” also as “a long time” or a “long life.”
The chrysanthemum therefore also symbolically appears for deciding something. This design carpets especially refer to independence, to give people one’s freedom.
The Chrysanthemum in Tibetan carpet symbolizes independence.
Also, the non-pictorial ornamentation represents the reference to the Buddhist tradition which is a commonly occurring element that is known as Buddhist knots or the eternal knots.
It symbolizes the life eternal but also the lasting fortune. The medallions are connected to the Buddhist symbol of the wheel, which represents durability, stability, also because of the cycle of rebirth. Floral design in Tibetan carpet symbolizes life’s never-ending fortune.
The carpet consisting of coin design especially peace and happiness and the strength of wealth. Tibetan locals weave these carpets and put them in their house in the belief of eternal peace and harmony among family, friends, relatives, and so on. The coin design in Tibetan carpet symbolizes peace and harmony.
Coin and Floral design
Tibetan Carpet having both coin and floral design symbolizes life’s never-ending and also everlasting fortune along with peace and happiness. This type of Tibetan carpet symbolizes peace and harmony,
Orchid design carpets are the most popular carpets in these modern days. The Orchid Symbolizes refinement and humility. Above all, the feminine beauty, the sweet scent the orchid gives off is represented by these carpets. The orchid design Tibetan carpet symbolizes refinement.
Lotus Flower Design
The lotus flower design represents wealth and honor. The pink blossom also mentions purity, confers beauty, and charm. The carpets with lotus flower imprints are supposed to bring good luck along with it according to Tibetan mythology. The lotus symbol in Tibetan carpet symbolizes wealth and honor.
The symbols of Tibetan carpets are mostly of Buddhist origin. Others, like many animal depictions, have their roots within the mythology of Tibet. All symbols in traditional Tibetan carpets have in common that they’re promising. The snow lion is the national symbol of Tibetan. The snowline symbols in Tibetan carpet signifies their mythology.
Traditional Tibetan Tiger Design Carpet
Tigers embody power and a balanced mind. Tigers are a symbol of power and strength. They are seen as the animal from the south. They are frequently shown strolling in a bamboo forest. The Tiger carpets symbolize power and strength.
The swastika is usually found in four corners of the carpets. Swastika means a Buddhist symbol that refers to eternal happiness. The Carpets containing Swastika symbolizes Eternal happiness.
Vases are sources of life. a minimum of for the flowers, that’s unquestionable. The symbol of having a vase design symbolizes the source of life.
Door curtains carpets are one of the rarest designs. These carpets were specially made to hang in the door as curtains.
Modern Tibetan Rug Design
- Kuba design
- Tibetan Runners
- Tibetan Floral Plumbs
- Geometric and Abstract designs
- Three coins Medallion
- Single Medallions
KubaModern Tibetan Design
Kuba Carpets are highly demanded. They are noted for their details and tightly woven designs. Sometimes Medallion patterns are made in a center and also, it to be noted that there are hundreds of many more designs.
Tibetan Modern Tibetan Runners
These are some of the most desired carpets in today’s world. These carpets come in virtually all colors and detailed designs.
Tibetan Floral Plumbs
The Tibetan Floral Plumbs is referred to as the reminiscence of old antique Tibetan carpet including modern design. The drawings in these types of carpets are fresh and the colors used are bold colors.
Geometric and Abstract designs
This design is highly influenced by Westerns and their buyers. Earlier, these carpets were used by nomads for their own use. But now its most popular in foreign countries.
Three coin Medallion Carpet
The three-coin or medallion carpet is a traditional and much-loved design in Tibet. It is set against the deep background colors, the three medallions in the center are joined by symbols of good fortune.
Single medallion carpets are set in beautiful background colors with a medallion in the center. And, the four corners are made with either a swastika design or any floral design.