Posted in Blog

Why do Bulgarian and Amerindian Textiles Look Alike?

by Christopher-Joseph Ravnopolski-Dean

The honest answer is that we will never know for sure. There are many riddles that we cannot understand, but we can safely make assumptions.

General Guesses about Balkan and Anatolian Weaves

Many of the ornaments and patterns we find on Bulgarian and Anatolian textiles are found in prehistoric sites on the Balkans. It should be noted that even in the 19th century the carpet schools from these regions were in mutual contact. Certain carpet motifs might have come from Anatolia to the Balkans and vice versa, but in any case, these patterns originated in the prehistoric age.

Geographical proximity can explain the similarities among artifacts in the Anatolian-Balkan school, as well as similarities with the carpets of Yemenites or Hindus. The question is, however, how is it possible for a so geographically remote culture as the Amerindian to share similar patterns and motifs.

antique_navajo_germantown kolo-teteven

A Navajo “Eye-dazzler” and Bulgarian “kolos” (sounds similar to wheels) with kanatitsas in their centers. 

The Mystery

Let us begin with a trivial assumption: in antiquity there was no social media. You cannot share your ideas through Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. The only way is to see or hear and then to bring the idea with you. Or eventually invent the same thing yourself. (Convergence.)

If it was only one figure, we could assume that everyone came up with the same idea.  The problem is that there are many similar motives: we have the kanatica, the kolo, the makazi, the cross with the four points …

navajo-spider-woman-cross b-version-dizainersko

A blue “spider-woman cross” from German Town Navajo weaves and crosses with circles on a B. Version blanket designed in the tradition of Bulgarian fire-dancers from the region of Tsarevo.

We assume that for thousands of years, American inhabitants were isolated from those of the Old World. Regardless of whether the man descended from primates, or whether the first man was Adam, we suppose the first humans appeared in the Old World: either in Africa or in Asia. From there, they gradually dispersed and settled around the world. Accordingly, ancient Americans have also come from the old world, but in a very early period.

The Answer

So these prototypes must have appeared before the first Americans left the Old World. In short, the only logical explanation for now is that these are prehistoric images that the first Americans brought with themselves from their old homeland.

History is always a guess based on what we currently know. We have some data and we are trying to create a logically sounding sequence of events. Tomorrow someone finds new data and our “story” sounds ridiculous. In fact, the new version of the story would initially sound absurd without the new data.  Thus, we are expecting new data on the subject that will shake or confirm my guesswork.

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