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5.0 von 5 Sternen Buch zur Geschichte der Textilverarbeiten, 3. Dezember 2012
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Dieses Buch war mir im Rahmen einer Recherche aufgefallen. Jetzt wollte ich es selbst haben, um darin schmökern zu können.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An important contribution to a vastly under-appreciated subj, 2. Februar 1999
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean (Taschenbuch)
Clothing and body ornamentation were among the first means by which humans expressed their social identity. For this reason alone, the study of clothing is of primary importance for understanding the past. Unfortunately, clothing is perishable and little is left of these once flourishing art forms. But what we do possess often reminds us of traditions that have survived into modern times, both in regard to their construction and design and this presents another means for evaluating the scanty remains. Because the last two centuries have seen such accelerated social change we often forget that people in the past held on to their traditions with the greatest tenacity. The arts practiced primarily by women such as weaving and basketry were among the most conservative. Only a few scholars have sought to trace these links to the past. Prof. E. W. Barber makes a substantial contribution to this neglected field of study with her Prehistoric Textiles.
Prehistoric Textiles is really two books in one. The first is a systematic and scientific treatment of topics relevant to the history and practice of weaving. These include the types of fibers used in early textiles, the techniques and tools of spinning, the types of looms and their probable historical development, the dyes used with early textiles, and most importantly, the weaving techniques themselves. Had Prof. Barber stopped here the work would have been accomplishment enough since no other work of this kind exists to my knowledge. Further, none of the more specialized monographs that do exist takes pains to explain the subject in such detail to the lay reader. Prof. Barber has the advantage of being a weaver herself and she is able to identify with the struggles and joys of the artisans who made these ancient textiles and to suggest practical reasons why they did they what did.
The second book is more ambitious: a history written from textiles rather than texts. By looking at the spread of weaving, the materials, techniques, and designs, she hopes to add to our knowledge of larger historical issues such as the origin and dispersion of the Indo-European peoples. A number of more focused studies in the second half of the book put this sensible idea into practice. The first concerns the diffusion of loom weights and spindle whorls in the Near East and Europe while a second analyzes the Bronze Age textile industry in the Aegean. There is a good deal more here of course and all done with the care and attention to detail one would expect from a weaver.
In addition to the linguistic, archeological, and historical matters discussed in the book, there are several underlying issues raised by Dr. Barber which have been the subject of earlier studies by the American scholar, Dr. Carl Schuster (1904-1969 whose work has not received the serious attention it deserves. Schuster was interested designs on textiles and he amassed an important collection during his worldwide travels, starting in the 1930s. His interest in symbolism led him to trace the history of certain design motifs as they moved from one medium to another. What Schuster discovered is summarized in Patterns That (also available from Amazon.com). I mention the work because it forms a background for much of the material Dr. Barber presents. Many of the techniques used to construct woven clothing as well as the designs employed by weavers were borrowed from tailored fur garments. Schuster was able to reconstruct the techniques used to create these garments which were generally made from small furs. Several marginally located hunting peoples were still constructing such garments as late as the 19th and 20th century. Additionally, designs which originated on clothing were transferred to less perishable objects (cave walls, bones, pebbles, ivory, etc.) in Paleolithic times as marks of social identity. In Neolithic times, the same designs were transferred to pottery and widely diffused. What is familiar to us as geometric art, Schuster maintained, is really the residue of a system once used to depict genealogical relations via tattoos and clothing designs.
Another area of interest touched upon only briefly by Dr. Barber in her discussion of the Greek Fates is the symbolism connected with weaving and spinning. Here the interested reader can turn profitably to the works of Rene Guenon, in particular his Fundamental Symbols and The Symbolism of the Cross. But perhaps the most important figure in this field is Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy, the great art historian, metaphysician, and folklorist, whose discussion of the sutratman or "thread-spirit" doctrine is central to the arts of the weaving and spinning. It was Coomaraswamy's contention that traditional art forms were symbolically meaningful as well as useful and that artistic creation was a form of worship.
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