Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bringing new meaning to color

A little more than one-quarter of the Kyrgyz pillow is now stitched. I've been a good girl and have kept up with the background stitching so far! Except for the golden brown, all of the colors I'll be using appear in this progress photo.

The more I've stitched, the more I've been wondering why the Kyrgyzstani woman who embroidered the original tush kyiz chose the colors she did. Her threads were undoubtedly hand-dyed using vegetable dyes. But did she use specific colors to convey special meaning to this wall hanging for a marital bed?

After doing a little research on the symbolism of color in Asian cultures, here's what I found out about the meaning of the colors I'm using:

Red: Happiness, marriage and prosperity
Pink: Marriage
Blue: Self-cultivation and wealth
Green: Eternity, family, harmony, health, peace and prosperity
Gold: Strength and wealth
Brown: Earth, hearth, home and endurance
Black: In its positive connotions, career, knowledge and formality

So in essence, the mother of the bride or groom who created the original hanging was conveying any number of good wishes to the newly-wed couple through her colorful stitching. Considering that the almost 7-foot fragment from which I adapted my project is part of a much larger piece of embroidery, I can only hope for the stitcher's sake that the Kyrgyzs believed in long engagements!

1 comment:

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I saw that place in a recent documentary on China - they are so high up in the mountains, they must have had lots of time for embroidery. This is beautiful.