Elibelinde Pomegranate Bag

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Elibelinde (Elebelinde) is Turkish for hands on hips, which is a common description for the woven image of the woman symbol that appears in many cultures around Anatolia.

What the term was before elibelinde came to be used, I have never found. The patriarchal culture is rampant in those territories, suppressing women and mother cultures to the point that terminology might be hidden while the weaving patterns continued, using an innocuous phrase of “hands on hips” to deflect unwanted attention from their weaving traditions.

At times the elibelinde is just the woman, other times she is the fertile mother with a child or children under her triangular skirt or around it. She is also shown mirrored, as in the twin women rulers of the ancient areas that have been depicted numerous ways archaeologically (two heads one body, joined bodies, etc.). In some weavings, she is shown with the curled legs associated with the mermaid/water motif or the birthing motif.

The Elibelinde is frequently surrounded by stylized plant life, like a tree of life motif, which changes from territory to territory, depending on what the sacred tree species is.

In a good portion of the Anatolian and Persian territories it was a pomegranate. Since early communities had to have water to survive, the Su Yolu water motif is frequently a part of the setting, as well as the aspect of the life waters of birthing. These can appear curvilinear, triangular or rectilinear.