عنوان مقاله [English]
The historical texture of the city of Yazd houses various buildings of different periods in its heart and houses related to the Qajar period have a special place. Of these, twelve houses have mirrored decorations (Aina-kari) that embellish various motifs. This research is carried out using historical an analytical descriptive method. To this end, the sources of research, including written sources, have been gathered by library method and have been used to analyze the symbolic meanings of the intended motifs. The most important questions raised in this research are: What symbolic motifs have been used in mirroring of houses in Yazd? What is the symbolic origin of these motifs? The results of this research show that decorative motifs are classified into four general categories including herbal, animal, geometric and epigraphy. Each of these can include symbolic meanings. Many of these motifs have a special meaning in their pre-Islamic culture and have been used in Islamic culture either with the same concept or with little change as a symbol. Some of the motifs can be observed although they did not exist in pre-Islamic culture of Iran, but they also had an effect on Persian literature and used in applied arts because of their importance and emphasis on Islamic culture. Some of the motifs have important in Persian literature and are considered as symbols. Therefore, three origins can be used as the symbolic source of many motifs used in mirroring of Yazd city including Iran’s pre-Islamic culture, the Iranian Islamic culture and Persian literature.
Keywords: Yazd City, Mirroring, Symbolic Motifs, Qajar Buildings.
Architecture always represents the identity and culture of its productive people. In this regard, Islamic architecture has a special concept that has benefited from various motifs and designs in the decorations of various buildings, especially the interior of the buildings (Blair & Bloom, 2003). Some of these shapes also have a meaning behind them and paying attention to these motifs and designs will lead to understand Islamic architecture well.
The historical texture of Yazd city, with an area about 750 hectares, houses the most significant buildings of different periods, in which the houses belonging to the Qajar period have the special place. Up to now, twelve houses have been identified in this city that in addition to having a variety of decorative arts such as painting, stucco and miror work, there has also been used mirroring (Aini-kari). In this research, it is attempted to study the concepts and symbols associated with them.
The symbol is related to something else impling or representing it “(Garberan, 1999: 24). These symbols generally originate from beliefs, and cultural background have had a great influence on their structure. This method is one of the oldest ways of expressing concepts, in which the primitive man expresses some of his mental concepts in the form of a symbol and attempts to communicate with others through symbolic signs (Khafshchian Moghadam and Yahaghi, 2011: 66).
One of the most common decorations in Islamic art is the use of plant motifs in various branches of Islamic art that are used in the mirroring of historical houses of Yazd city considered in the categories of Arabesque, Khitan and Toranj motifs. It seems that one of the main sources of the influence of herbal motifs in Islamic art is Quran In addition to inspiration from the art of lands located in the Islamic empire such as Iran and Byzantium. In the Quran, more than 120 items are referred to Paradise, which describes it as a beautiful garden.
It seems that in ancient Iran, the presence of green trees is considered as a symbol of immortality and life. In the philosophy of the Zarthosht religion, Ameretat is considered the guardian of trees and plants, and in ancient Iran, some plants have been considered not only as the tree of life, but also as healing (Farahani et al 2016: 14). Among the herbal motifs, we can refer to Arabesque, Khitan and Toranj motifs.
Motifs of Epigraphy
Epigraphy is one of the decorative practices containing clear messages and meanings. Due to the application of epigraphy in writing of the Qur’an, it played a very important role in Islamic art. The highlight of the Arabic language comes from its ancient origins as a language with its history, as well as its role in the scripture of the Holy Qur’an, which is given to it by the Holy Face (Burckhardt, 2009: 44). The Holy Qur’an is a book sent down by God and initially verbally by the prophets’ companions and then written. The valuable position of the Qur’an in the Muslim community led to the special attention paid to the writing, decoration and illumination of the Qur’an and the verses in it (Ekhtiar & moor, 2012: 37). In some houses that have mirrored decorations, such as Arab, Malekzadeh and Shafipour, this decorative style is also used to write the text on the mirror by means of gypsum and Nastaliq’s handwriting.
According to religion of Islam, all living things able to move are created by God and obeyed by Him.So, the use of human and animal motifs in Islamic art is prohibited. However, in some places, especially non-religious places, these motifs have been used, which is not so common (Ghasemzadeh et al., 2013: 74). Different animal designs have been used in mirroring of Yazd city. Among the animal designs used in the mirrors of Yazd city, it is possible to mention the role of peacock, nightingale, head, parrot and pigeon, each of which has symbolic meaning.
One of the most important features of Islamic decorations is the return to the origin and at the same time the eternity and infinity of God that this feature can be well observed in the geometric decorations of Islamic art (Mohammadian, 2016: 70). In general, Iranian artists, especially in Islamic/Iranian art, the decorative elements, such as geometric motifs, illustrate directly the unity of plurality and multiplicity and plurality in unity, and show the stability of change, and the creation of a spiritual atmosphere thus refer to the universe of monotheism.
One of the geometric motifs used in the mirror decorations of Yazd city is Shamsa. This role is basically located in the center of the roof, and other motifs are fused. In this way, firstly, a rectangular frame was created on the roof, and then decorated its interior with gemstones and geometric patterns.
As it was studied, in mirroring of Qajar houses in Yazd, there have been used different animal, geometric, herbal and epigraphy motifs, which are symbolically noticed behind their apparent appearance. Many of these motifs have a special meaning in their pre-Islamic culture and have been used in Islamic culture either with the same concept or with little change as a symbol. In this regard, some of the motifs, although not presented in pre-Islamic Iranian culture, have influenced both Persian literature and applied arts because of their importance and emphasis on Islamic culture. Some of the motifs are also important in Persian literature and are considered as symbols. Therefore, three origins can be used as the symbolic source of many motifs used in mirroring of Yazd city including Iran’s pre-post Islamic culture, and Persian literature.
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