“Umai” Tapestry

The plot and composition of the tapestry is based on the artistic image of the oldest deity of the Tengrian religion - Umai. It is believed that in the hierarchy of Tengrian deities, Umay ranks second after Tengri. She is sometimes seen as the female personification of Tengri, who form a dual divine principle together. Among the modern Turkic peoples the stories of Umai (Umai ene) are known among the Kazakhs, Altaics, Bashkirs, Khakas.
Umai is a highly revered female deity, a benevolent spirit, patroness of children and women in childbirth. The newborns and lullabies are always under her protection. She protects them from evil forces and spirits. Umai also represents fertility. In the ancient Turkic world, a woman is considered the earthly incarnation of Umai.
The image of Umai was not invented by the author of the tapestry, but is an artistic interpretation of the famous rock painting - a sun-faced deity in a three-horned headdress, carved on a stone in the Tamgaly tract of the Almaty region of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In a way, it is a textbook image of Umai in the modern ethnographic culture of the Kazakh people.
Supporting the ethnographic theme of the tapestry, the color is sustained in soft, restrained and noble color combinations. Also in weaving, gold thread - lurex - is partially used, for visual enrichment of the woven texture of the tapestry. This creates an illusory "patina of time" - as if the tapestry was created not in our days, but in the times of the Turkic Khaganate. After all, this era is the heyday of Tengrianism - the ancient Turkic monotheistic cult of the sky with elements of shamanism.
In the modern world, Tengrianism is perceived as the basis of the national identity of the Kazakh people. Moreover, it is perceived not as a religious cult, but as a special worldview based on interest in Turkic roots, unity with nature, Turkic runic writing and nomadism. That is, the image of the nomad as an ethical and aesthetic ideal.

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