Thursday, May 19, 2011
tooling clutch and apotropaic magic
I just finished this beautiful leather clutch! The top two photos are in-process and the bottom two are the finished product.
I was inspired by European folk art and the ojo de dios we used to make as kids by winding yarns around a cross. A lozenge surrounded by hooks is common embroidery motif in folk costume, and can be traced back to Neolithic times (Anawalt 2007:113). While the European design is thought to be fertility related, the ojo de dios represents a literal translation of the Spanish phrase and is generally associated with the Huichol people.
The phenomenon of thread crosses is my no means exclusively Mesoamerican, and has been documented archaeologically and ethnographically all over the world (the Germanic name is Fadenfreuz), usually in reference to the eye (Potts 1982).
Whether used to avert an avert the evil eye or act as a protective watchful eye, the concept of the woven lozenge is is universally alluring.
Interesting, but dated, further reading on the subject: