Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tracing Genealogy Through Design Motifs

This is something I have been wanting to write about for awhile - how some design motifs - quilt appliques, rug design, beadwork, stone carvings and petroglyphs could give us clues to how people migrated. The first one I have thought of is Maori > Seattle (Pacific Northwest Coast). Compare these designs and then tell me what you think * In my Google searches I use to illustrate this post not every picture is the exact searched term. It is intended to just give a broad idea of the subject. First "Maori Fish Design"

Maori Fish Design

"Haida Fish Design"

Haida Fish Design

"Tlingit Fish Design"

Tlingit Fish Design

The second set that caught my eye is Central Asian to Pennyslvania Dutch. I was really shocked to read a blog post by a quilter who saw Central Asian design elements in Pennsylvania Dutch needlework. Then I found out as far back as 2003 genealogists have been speculating that the people we call the Pennsylvania Dutch may be Central Asian or they traded heavily with Central Asia before coming to America. Some of this speculation is based on DNA testing. Here are some Google image searches:

"Pennsylvania Dutch Applique"
Pennsylvania Dutch Applique

"Central Asian Design"
Central Asian Design

Another one I read about in the National Geographic gift catalog in the description of a Talavera-style bird planter "The distinctly Mexican pottery called talavera traces its origins to Spanish majolica, which was itself an adaptation of tin-glazed ceramics introduced by the Moors."  Googling those terms I found historians that said that this kind of pottery originated in Baghdad and traveled like this - Baghdad > North Africa (the Moors) > Spain (Majorca) and then on to Italy and Mexico (Talavera-style) with Spanish Catholic priests.

"Tin-glazed Ceramics of the Moors"

Tin-glazed Ceramics of the Moors

"Spanish Majolica"

Spanish Majolica

"Talavera Style"

Talavera Style

This one I found researching my own genealogy because our Haplogroup has been traced to Kazakhstan and while studying Kazakh design I was struck by how similar some of the design motifs are to the Metis of Canada.

"Kazakh Needlework"

Kazakh Needlework

"Metis Quillwork"

Metis Quillwork

"Metis Beadwork"

Metis Beadwork
I have one more. The Etowah plates, found near Cartersville, Georgia in 1885 are very plainly Mayan design and have lead researchers to speculate that the American southeast was colonized by Mayans. DNA testing should shed light on these findings. If you would like to read more about these ideas you can go to People of One Fire. See also: The Willoughby Disk and Moundbuilder Pinterest board

Rogan Plate 1, falcon dancerplate found at Etowah

Image of Maya Grolier Codex

I'd like to do more one-on-one comparisons when I have time, but just wanted to get this out there and see if anyone else has some comparisons they have been thinking about or know anyone who is studying this area of genealogy/ art history.

No comments:

Post a Comment