Monday, September 7, 2009

ainu designs (3)

The morew (swirl) and the ayus (having thorns), which were introduced in earlier posts, are the two basic elements of Ainu design that are often embroidered around the edges of clothing to protect the wearer from evil. When combined with each other or with other motifs-- as they usually are-- the patterns grow increasingly complex and intriguing. In the attached photo there is a third motif added to the equation of the first two. This is the diamond-shaped sik (eye). Go back to the original post on morew, and you will now be able to recognize how the ayus and sik motifs have been worked into the morew-based pattern.

In future posts, I hope to introduce some of the less prominent elements of Ainu design, which enrich the meaning and overall appearance of the decorated item. I will also be shifting the spotlight from "women's work" (embroidery and applique), to "men's work." (carving on wooden utensils). To see the related posts all on one page, type "ainu designs" into the search bar on the right side of this page (near the top). Questions and comments are welcome.