Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coptic Textiles at the Hunt

I made my way into the talk. Settled myself down with my knitting. Knit away until everyone who knew each other (and there seem to be a bunch of regulars) had chatted to their hearts content. Kept my knitting up through the microphone endeavouring to deafen the attendees. Security guard to the rescue! Heh heh

The talk was given by a lovely Polish academic who lives in Kildare with her equally academic husband (whose name I wont' even attempt to spell). She studies the Coptic/Egyptian textiles in the National Museum and treated us to a condensed paper on her PhD material. While I did pause my knitting to listen to her I took it up again about 15 minutes into the talk (what can I say, the room was dark and somnolence was setting in). I am a much more attentive listener when my hands are busy. :)

Anyhow, the main thrust of the talk centred around the Coptic (early Christian) use of symbolism as wards against demons and other negative influences. These wards were incorporated into their textile design, most notably their clothing.


The speaker charted the influence of Greek design aspects on Egyptian clothing which persisted and blended with other influences over time.


Christians are the groups referred to by the term Copt and Coptic. Their styles of dress can be used to chart how they emerged from the prevailing group to become a social force in their own right. They also blended their spiritual beliefs and thoughts arounds their moral code into their material possessions - clothing, house textiles and ceramics.


Slides were shown of dancing saints and such other images which, today, would not readily sit with our concepts of early Christians. This image was from a period of time where Christians felt safe and comfortable and this showed in their textile artworks.


There's more, but I think that's as much as I can piece together for now before I have my lunch.


Cheerio folks.


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