Crescent-Star Motif in Turkish Fabrics


MILLI FOLKLOR, no.126, pp.136-152, 2020 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.136-152
  • Keywords: Moon crescent, motif, erthnography, Turkish fabrics, weaving, traditional Turkish arts
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


Turkish decorative arts are an important legacy of the past as material cultural documents. The subjects of decoration in Turkish decorative arts are quite varied. Different scientific groupings are made about these decorations such as geometric, figurative, vegetative, animal, written, architecture, landscape, objective, symbolic and cosmic. These groupings are sometimes evaluated in terms of form and sometimes in terms of meaning. In terms of meaning, some groupings can be considered within the same content as symbolic and cosmic. The celestial objects containing symbolic meanings have also been regarded as sacred in almost every civilization and have been included in various forms of objects such as starboard, inscription, sculpture, relief, inscription, coin and tablet. In every nation where symbolic usage of single moon, single crescent or moon-crescent is seen together, the moon- crescent motif has different meanings. In Turkish mythology, the moon, sun and big crescents, which are the counterparts of important beliefs, have been interpreted together. Since the adoption of Islam, it appears as a symbol of state and army in textiles mostly in the form of starboard. In Turkish fabrics, the moon motif in various forms such as big, small, flat, inverted and intertwined, and crescent motifs with four, five, six, eight and more corners are used separately or together. The aim of this study is to examine the development of the moon-crescent motif, describe the different patterns that are patterned from weaving and identify the technical properties of the existing samples. This research is thought to be important in terms of revealing the reflections of moon-crescent motifs on fabrics The research is a description study in the screening model. The population of the study is the moon-crescent motif, and the sample of this is eighteen Turkish fabrics with moon- crescent motifs patterned with weaving. In the study, written source scanning was done before, inventory numbers of fifteen fabrics with moon- crescent motif, museums, centuries, genres, raw materials, dimensions and pattern report repetitions are given in table. In addition, technical analysis of three available fabric samples was made by evaluating these analyzes. Technical, material, color and pattern properties of the fabrics have been identified. It is known that the fabrics with moon-crescent motifs are used around the palace and by the public for important events or days for clothing and upholstery. Moon-crescent motifs were used in fabrics in large forms between the 16-18th centuries and in small forms between 19-20th centuries. Moon-star shapes according to periods in the form of large and small nested crescents, crescent-shaped sun, rosette-shaped, it took the form of eight at 18th century and five-pointed stars at the beginning of the 20th century. The moon-crescent motif was applied in sevai samples that were weaved in middle of the 20th century where national emotions were intense with form in the flag of Republic of Turkey. The moon-crescent motifs are woven with different techniques in fabric-velvet, Bursa abanisi, Aleppo sevaisi, Bilecik catma, Harput telli, Harput hareli, kutnu, velvet and kemha fabrics.