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THI hosts Kilim & Ndebele themed Coffee Night

THI hosts Kilim & Ndebele themed Coffee Night

THI hosts Kilim & Ndebele themed Coffee Night

Friday the 13th is usually considered an unfavourable day to most, however, that night proved quite the contrary at the offices of the Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI).

THI hosted its second coffee night under the theme, “A look into the traditional handcrafts & commonalities of Ndebele and Kilim art”.

Kilim, the Turkish word for rug is also a form of art and owns many similarities to the popular Ndebele art originating from the Nguni tribe here in South Africa.

The attendees were welcomed by Aysegul Ergul, Director of the institute’s Women’s Platform, she enlightened the audience on what the night had to offer, before opening up to Ihsan Barutcu, owner of major carpet store, The Flying Carpets.

Barutcu spoke about the history of Kilim and the way in which it has an emotional attachment to those who have spent many months weaving the carpet by hand. Kilim is a flat weave, it was invented because people needed a way in which to keep their feet warm.

The participants were then treated to a variety of fascinating, antique carpets. Barutcu observed that a carpet cannot be labelled ‘antique’ solely by its age but instead other factors that include the condition have to be taken into account as well. As the wool is obtained from the lamb whilst the lamb is still alive, the fibre of the wool is alive as well, therefore he says, “You have to walk on the carpet, to enjoy the carpet.”

Bilal Lehlohonolo Moagi, experienced art critique, then took centre stage to explain more about Ndebele Art. He noted the art had its origins from the Kwa-Zulu Natal region and was initially developed by people seeking refuge from King Shaka as means of a secret communication code. The hypothesis that he came up with was that “People carry with them culture wherever they go, the similarities that we are seeing have in Turkey/ Kilim art probably could have something to do with the connection that people have.”

The night concluded with agreements that women around the world, despite being worlds apart do share a lot of similarities with regard to emotions and expressing themselves, hence the similarities between these two ancient art forms, Kilim and Ndebele.

“True artistic expression lies in conveying emotion.” –Angel Haze