Home & Kitchen: Nomadic and Tribal Inspirations

Handmade & Hand-Printed | Tribal Minimalist Kitchen Linens by YaansoonThe motifs we add to our Yaansoon hand-printed textiles, are inspired by loom-spun kilims and carpets created by Bedouin communities around West Asia and the Levant. Vintage tribal and nomadic rugs and kilims are much more than a decorative piece; they are a way of life!

Hand-printed and handmade, the motifs on our ‘Tribal Minimalist Kitchen Linens are reminiscent of geometric shapes that often adorn vintage and hand-woven tribal kilims, typically used by nomadic clans in different parts of the world. We are particularly mesmerized by the kilims created in the deserts of Jordan.

As craft entrepreneurs, the look we are after is fresh, minimalist, a bit rustic and suitable for modern use. We use 100% non-bleached cottons to create hand-printed aprons, oven mitts, potholders, and tea towels that are more than just kitchen linens. They are “social” linens that one can take from kitchen to dining room as they sport beautiful motifs that make them guest-friendly, so to speak.

Vintage nomadic, tribal kilims and baskets | What inspires YaansoonWhat we love about kilims

Handwoven kilims are not just “decorative” pieces for Bedouins and nomadic clans. This craft grew essentially out of a need for useful items; be it a house, a tent, a pillow or even a bag. The items woven by Jordanian women include everything that makes up for her immediate environment: the tent in which she lives, the floor kilims, the cushions, the covers for the mattresses and bedding, and the small sized rugs and storage bags used for storing food.

Patterns are also not an accidental or meaningless part of kilims. Each of these patterns has a meaning; they’re not just geometric shapes, they are stories told by nomadic tribes and often reflect their surroundings and environment. Some shapes stand for “sand dunes” or “people,” while others reflect a personal story that only the nomadic maker can decode.

What is interesting about Jordan, specifically, is that although the same motifs are used by different nomadic communities around the country, however the names of the patterns differ according to the area or the tribe.

According to book titled Cultural Treasures of Jordan, “What is ‘hujab,’ amulets, to one is ‘rkamat’ to another; what is ‘stairs’ or ‘steps’ to one, is ‘road to Jericho’ to another. What is ‘teeth’ to one area is ‘waves’ in another…”

Although there is a generic kilim language known to all members of the clan, no one could ever tell what the weaver was thinking about while making her/his kilim! Maybe a love story about a nomadic man who rode his horse at the crack of dawn! Or a young woman who was combing her hair by the rain pond… no one really knows.

Vintage nomadic, tribal kilims, cupboard and baskets | What inspires Yaansoon

P.S: I bought this book many, many years ago; it has a special place in my heart. I’m actually very happy that I am now part of a project that connects me in one way or another to the contents of this book and the rich culture it represents. I tried to find it on Amazon; here is the link I found, but unfortunately there is no image of the book cover.

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