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The Analysis of Geometric Patterns of Card-Woven Bands from Selonian Influenced Culture Region

By Silvija Kukle and Gunta Zommere


The original and powerful design art produced in territory of Latvia existing from prehistoric times to the early 20 century shows tremendous variety in patterns, differing region by region, often village by village. They appear in examples of woven bands, embroidered borders of mantles, shirts, sashes, patterns of apparel, head clothes and many other artifacts. More than 10 years of investigation shows us that art in all its diversity. The subject of this paper is the results of the computer-aided analysis of specific group of woven bands from one ethnographic region of Latvia placed on the banks of the river Daugava. With the 10th century the Daugava, which can be regarded as the river of the Selonians, a Baltic group, along its middle course, became an international trade and long-range communications artery between Northern Europe and the East. This was the period when hill forts flourished along both banks of the river. The inhabitants of these forts were quick to adopt innovations in crafts, trade and ideology, passing them further inland. The Selonian lands have been partitioned into regions of which written evidence is scant. Only artifacts including woven sashes and border bands with alternate patterns found in the Selonian influenced region tell stories and keep beautiful patterns. These bands were used as a borders and panels in the vast range of design solutions, and as a separate items for diverse applications. The potential of such decorative detail is infinitely varied, repeating patterns and single units being used independently and in conjunction to create desired effects. The possibilities of variation within specific modes of innovation are such that any given sample should be considered a cluster of characteristics rather than a single “true” image. Our efforts are directed to the restoration of full image from which craftsmen could find a source of timeless valid ideas, for the graphic artist and fashion designer it could be a wealth of material that can be adapted directly to their needs, all those interested in the Latvians who precedes us on the banks of the Daugava will find this work educational

Topics: Latvia, patterns, card-woven bands, alternate patterns, border bands, sashes
Publisher: University of Zagreb
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