“Twilight Protector. First Snow” Tapestry

In archaic times, before the appearance of various gods, people worshiped animal totems and mythological creatures. Among the animals surrounding humans in the real world, only those that were characterized by a sacred-mythological content, physical power, and external aesthetic beauty were subjected to the process of totemization. Such animals included the bull - a large and strong animal with beautifully curved horns, the eagle or golden eagle with spread wings in free flight, the tiger caught in a predatory jump, the deer with majestic body posture and mighty branching antlers, and so on.

The symbolical image of the bull is present in the mythology and the fine arts of many nations. In ancient Egyptian culture, it was the bull god of fertility, Apis. In ancient Mesopotamia and Georgia, as well as in Central Asia, the sacred bull was associated with the ritual contest and sacrifice. The cult of the sacred bull (buffalo) had a particularly wide spread in the ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley. In one of the oldest mythological plots - the abduction of Europa - the main character is a bull. It is the god Zeus, who, in the appearance of a bull, crosses the sea with the daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor on his back. In the mythological representations of Turkic peoples, the God of the underworld - Erlik Bii - moves only on a black bull of enormous size, whose breath can kill a person.

In the presented artwork, the totem-guardian appears before the viewer in the form of a reddish-brown bull stylized as a mountain. Its majestic figure with the head raised to the sky occupies all the bottom and central space of the work, while the horns, fancifully turned in the opposite directions, visually balance the composition. Behind the bull's figure is the curved crescent of the moon. To the right of the bull's image, a monumental silhouette of the World Tree is visible, which is one of the most sacred images in the content of ancient Turkic culture. At the base of the tree, under the protection of the bull totem, a small village and its inhabitants are comfortably located.

On the left, at the foot of the guardian bull's silhouette, there is a small figure of a rider, with his head thrown back in reverent contemplation of the majestic totem.

Starting from the broken line of the foothills, the entire composition of the work is divided into vertical multi-colored and differently scaled strips - alasha. They visually enrich the representational structure of the artwork and emphasize that it was created in the so-called "alasha-style" aesthetic.

The color palette of the work is restrained and in some ways monochrome. The dominant color is a complex shade of cream-coral, literally filling all the space of the composition. There are also complex shades of subdued black-brown, gray-blue, white-cream, and light-yellow colors.

The lyrical-contemplative mood is largely conveyed in the work by the multitude of small white moons, which, falling heavily like snow, fill the entire space of the composition.

Author: Mukhanov Malik Floberovich, Laureate of the State Youth Prize in the Field of Culture "Daryn," Member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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